<clinical sign>

<clinical examination> The presence of abnormally large amounts of fluid in the intercellular tissue spaces of the body, usually applied to demonstrable accumulation of excessive fluid in the subcutaneous tissues.

Oedema may be localised, due to venous or lymphatic obstruction or to increased vascular permeability or it may be systemic due to heart failure or renal disease.

Collections of oedema fluid are designated according to the site, for example ascites (peritoneal cavity), hydrothorax (pleural cavity) and hydropericardium (pericardial sac).

Massive generalised oedema is called anasarca.

Origin: Gr. Oide ma = swelling

American spelling: edema

(11 Mar 2008)

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