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Chronic peripheral oedema and lymphoedema 

Chronic peripheral oedema and lymphoedema
Chronic peripheral oedema and lymphoedema

Peter S. Mortimer



This chapter has been extensively revised, including (1) discussion of newly discovered genetic causes of primary lymphedema, (2) new tables of causes of primary and secondary lymphedema, (3) classification and diagnostic algorithm for primary lymphatic dysplasis, with inclusion of molecular findings.

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date: 19 September 2021

Lymph transport, not venous reabsorption, is the main process responsible for interstitial fluid drainage. All peripheral oedema is either absolute or relative lymph drainage failure. Oedema develops when the microvascular filtration rate exceeds lymph drainage for a sufficient period, either because the filtration rate is high or because lymph flow is low, or a combination of the two. Lymphoedema is strictly peripheral oedema due solely to a failure of lymph drainage. Most peripheral oedema arises from microvascular fluid filtration overwhelming lymph drainage, e.g. heart failure, but lymphoedema supervenes as lymph function declines if high filtration is sustained....

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