ROBERT S. ZOHLMAN, M.D.
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To the editor: In the October 1972 issue the article "Pleural Effusions: The Diagnostic Separation of Transudates and Exudates," by Light and colleagues (pp. 507-513), opens with a brief discussion of the cause of transudates and exudates. It states, "Increased plasma osmotic pressure or elevated systemic or pulmonary hydrostatic pressure are alterations that produce transudates."
I am sure that they were misprinted and meant to say that decreased plasma osmotic pressure contributes to transudation. More precisely, it is a decrease in the plasma oncotic pressure that results in transudation. A change in osmotic pressure in the plasma will not cause
ROBERT S. ZOHLMAN. Correction: Oncotic Pressure and Transudates. Ann Intern Med. 1973;78:461. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-78-3-461_3
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1973;78(3):461.
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