Severe edema or anasarca pushes the capillaries apart and reduces PCD. This results in reduced tissue oxygen concentration and the potential development of an anoxic lethal corner.
Many patients require extensive fluid resuscitation at some point during their treatment and will often develop massive edema (anasarca). Edema increases the extravascular tissue volume and pushes capillaries further apart. This mechanical separation decreases PCD which disrupts the oxygen pressure field (the radius of the Krogh cylinders increases). Anasarca can impact most of the soft tissues and organ systems and is frequently associated with progressive organ failure. This organ failure might be caused by a lethal corner that forms as a result of the disrupted oxygen pressure field even though the capillaries are open and carrying blood. An edematous heart, even though it is well perfused, may lack strength and endurance because of the decreased tissue oxygen concentration.
Diuresis or ultrafiltration can reduce systemic edema and bring capillaries closer together, restoring the oxygen pressure field to a more survivable configuration.
Perfusion Theory is an educational platform for the Oxygen Pressure Field Theory (OPFT). August Krogh’s theoretical concept of the oxygen pressure field is explained and then applied to clinical applications in perfusion practice.