The Starling equation is an equation that illustrates the role of hydrostatic and oncotic forces (the so-called Starling forces) in the movement of fluid across capillary membranes.
Capillary fluid movement may occur as a result of three processes:
Starling's equation only refers to fluid movement across the capillary membrane that occurs as a result of filtration. In the glomerular capillaries, there is a net fluid filtration of 125 ml/min (about 180 litres/day). In the rest of the body's capillaries, there is a total net transcapillary fluid movement of 20 ml/min (about 28.8 litres/day) as a result of filtration. This is several orders of magnitude lower than the total diffusional water flux at the capillary membrane, as that is about 80,000 litres/day.
The Starling equation was formulated in 1896 by the British physiologist Ernest Starling, also known for the Frank–Starling law of the heart.
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