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Chapter: Medical Physiology: The Microcirculation and the Lymphatic System: Capillary Fluid Exchange, Interstitial Fluid, and Lymph Flow

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Interstitial Fluid Colloid Osmotic Pressure

Although the size of the usual capillary pore is smaller than the molecular sizes of the plasma proteins, this is not true of all the pores.

Interstitial Fluid Colloid Osmotic Pressure

Although the size of the usual capillary pore is smaller than the molecular sizes of the plasma proteins, this is not true of all the pores. Therefore, small amounts of plasma proteins do leak through the pores into the interstitial spaces.

The total quantity of protein in the entire 12 liters of interstitial fluid of the body is slightly greater than the total quantity of protein in the plasma itself, but because  this  volume  is  four  times  the  volume  of plasma, the average protein concentration of the inter- stitial fluid is usually only 40 per cent of that in plasma, or  about  3 g/dl. Quantitatively, one  finds  that  the average interstitial fluid colloid osmotic pressure for this concentration of proteins is about 8 mm Hg.


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