Pitting edema occurs when fluid collects in the tissue. By pressing a thumb or finger firmly against the tissue for a few seconds, a dent can be produced. When the finger is withdrawn the dent may persist for several minutes.
Linda Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.