Describe the forces that result in fluid exchange across capillary membranes.

[Click here to toggle visibility of the answers]

College Answer

The expected answer included a clear explanation of Starling’s forces, including an understanding of the importance of the relative difference along the length of the capillary, with approximate values and examples of factors that influence them. Some explanation of what contributed to the hydrostatic or osmotic pressure gained more marks than merely stating there was a pressure. Several candidates digressed to Fick’s law of diffusion or intracellular flow of ions which was not directly relevant to capillary flow.

Discussion