OEDEMA denotes expansion of the interstitial fluid to produce either subcutaneous swelling or accumulations of fluid in the lungs, thoracic cavity, abdomen (ascites), and so on. General tissue oedema is unsightly and uncomfortable, but seldom life-threatening. Other forms of oedema are of greater clinical significance. If extensive, gut oedema causes severe disturbances, and pulmonary and laryngeal oedema are potentially lethal; so, eventually, is ascites or hydrothorax because of the interference with respiratory movements.
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