Abnormal fluid accumulation in body tissues that may be localized (as in swelling from an injury) or generalized (as in heart failure). Symptoms of generalized oedema, such as swelling around the base of the spine and in the ankles, occur when excess body fluid increases by more than 15 per cent. In severe cases, fluid accumulates in large body cavities, such as the peritoneal cavity of the abdomen in ascites or the pleural cavity of the lungs in pleural effusion. In pulmonary oedema, the air sacs of the lungs become waterlogged. Causes include heart failure, kidney failure, and nephrotic syndrome. Often, the underlying cause of oedema cannot be treated. Treatment is focused on increasing urine output by restricting salt intake and using diuretic drugs.


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