Q: A lone hypoalbuminemia can cause non-cardiogenic edema?
A) True B) False
It is true that pure hypoalbuminemia causes the peripheral edema due to the lowering of the transcapillary oncotic pressure gradient, but pulmonary capillaries have a greater baseline permeability to albumin. Because of this high permeability, a fall in the plasma albumin concentration is accompanied by a parallel decline in the pulmonary interstitial oncotic pressure, and the net effect is little or no change in the transcapillary oncotic pressure gradient.
Reference: Taylor AE. Capillary fluid filtration. Starling forces and lymph flow. Circ Res 1981; 49:557.