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J Pharmacol Toxicol Methods. 2000 Jan-Feb;43(1):11-4.

An accurate and simple method for measurement of paw edema.

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Department of Pharmacology, Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box 19835-355, Tehran, Iran.


Several methods for measuring inflammation are available that rely on the parameters changing during inflammation. The most commonly used methods estimate the volume of edema formed. In this study, we present a novel method for measuring the volume of pathologically or artificially induced edema. In this model, a liquid column is placed on a balance. When an object is immersed, the liquid applies a force F to attempt its expulsion. Physically, F is the weight (W) of the volume of liquid displaced by that part of the object inserted into the liquid. A balance is used to measure this force (F=W).Therefore, the partial or entire volume of any object, for example, the inflamed hind paw of a rat, can be calculated thus, using the specific gravity of the immersion liquid, at equilibrium mass/specific gravity=volume (V). The extent of edema at time t (measured as V) will be V(t)-V(o). This method is easy to use, materials are of low cost and readily available. It is important that the rat paw (or any object whose volume is being measured) is kept from contacting the wall of the column containing the fluid whilst the value on the balance is read.

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