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As blood passes through your capillaries, some of it leaks out across their walls into the interstitial fluid, the space between the cells. Forces pushing fluid out of the capillaries include blood pressure and gravity.

The sum of these forces is called the filtration pressure. It is greatest at the arterial end of the capillary, where the blood pressure is highest, and less at the venous end, where blood pressure is lowest. It is also higher in the capillaries in dependent parts of your body, which is why edema often occurs in the ankles and feet.




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