Edema: A Pathology (For Human Anatomy & Disease course)

Essay by SirGeorge8600College, UndergraduateA+, March 2010

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The sudden death of musical genius, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, was not a result of poisoning or bad pork but may have instead been caused by a streptococcal infection, a new study suggests. Mozart had suffered from edema himself and was described to have severe swelling making it difficult to even turn in bed. Aside from this, the composer was also noted to have had back pain, malaise and rash, all of which are symptoms of a streptococcal infection and edema. So indeed, what was it that exactly brought a harrowing death upon this musical genius? Edema is visible swelling from fluid accretion in body tissues. Edema most usually occurs in the feet and legs, where it is referred to as peripheral edema. The swelling is the consequence of the buildup of excess fluid beneath the skin in the areas within the tissues. All tissues of the body are made up of cells and connective tissues that hold the cells together.

This connective tissue around the cells and blood vessels is recognized as the interstitium. Most of the body's fluids that are instituted outside of the cells are in general stored in two spaces; the blood vessels (as the "liquid" or serum portion of your blood) and the interstitial spaces (not within the cells). In a variety of diseases, surplus fluid can accrue in either one or both of these compartments. [5]The body's organs have interstitial spaces where liquid can accumulate. A buildup of fluid in the interstitial air spaces in the lungs happens in a disorder called pulmonary edema. Additionally, excess fluid occasionally collects in what is called the third space, which includes cavities in the abdomen or in the chest. Anasarca refers to the relentless, widespread accretion of fluid in the all of the tissues and cavities of the...