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      Ernest Henry Starling (1866-1927) on the Formation and Reabsorption of Lymph

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          Ernest Henry Starling laid the groundwork for our modern understanding of how the interstitial fluid, which he referred to as ‘lymph', is regulated. Together with his colleague, William Bayliss, he provided the crucial insight into how fluid is driven out of the capillary to form interstitial fluid. That was to measure (estimate) the capillary pressure in different parts of the circulation and to relate changes in these pressures to altered lymph formation. In addressing how interstitial fluid re-enters the circulation, he was able to show that this occurs not only via the lymphatics, but also by re-entering the capillaries, mediated by the oncotic pressure of the plasma proteins. Starling's discoveries put to rest all notions that the processes of filtration and reabsorption of fluid are mediated by the ‘vital activity' of cells. They could be explained entirely on the basis of physic-chemical forces. Based upon his insights from animal experiments, he was able to explain the genesis of edema (dropsy) in a number of disease states, including venous obstruction, cardiac disease and inflammatory conditions.

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          Most cited references 2

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          THE WISDOM OF THE BODY: The Harveian Oration, delivered before The Royal College of Physicians of London on St. Luke's Day, 1923

           E H Starling (1923)
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            Ernest Henry Starling, his law and its growing significance in the practice of medicine.

             W. B. Fye (1983)

              Author and article information

              Nephron Physiol
              Nephron Physiology
              S. Karger AG
              June 2014
              16 May 2014
              : 126
              : 3
              : 9-17
              Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Calif., USA
              Author notes
              *Leon G. Fine, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90048 (USA), E-Mail Leon.Fine@cshs.org
              362620 Nephron Physiol 2014;126:9-17
              © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel

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              Page count
              Figures: 3, Tables: 1, Pages: 9
              Original Paper


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