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Article
September 5, 1908

THE NATURE AND THE CAUSE OF EDEMA.

JAMA. 1908;LI(10):830-834. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.25410100030001g
Abstract

INTRODUCTION.  The remarks that follow represent one of the possible applications of a principle which for some time past I have been interested in establishing experimentally, namely, that in the variable affinity of colloids for water we have the explanation of many of those physiologic phenomena which are characterized by a storage or a migration of water.1If we ignore certain "vitalistic" conceptions of edema in which fantastic properties of "living" cells are supposed to account for the phenomena observed, the increased amount of water held by tissues in a state of edema is usually attributed to "changes in blood pressure," and to "alterations in the permeability of vessel walls." The alterations in the permeability of vessel walls have never been demonstrated experimentally, and all efforts to produce states of edema through simple increase in blood pressure have failed. The slight edema observed by some investigators after prolonged intravenous

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