Fetal anasarca refers to generalised fetal body oedema and usually occurs as a component of hydrops fetalis. The fetal subcutaneous tissues appear diffusely thickened often to more than 5 mm.
It occurs from a fluid shift from the intra-vascular compartment into the interstitial extra-vascular compartment as a result of impaired lymphatic drainage, capillary permeability and/or capillary hydrostatic/oncotic pressures.
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