Congestive heart failure affects 5.1 × 106 people in the U.S. [1]. In right-ventricular heart failure, peripheral pitting edema is a key symptom used in identifying the disease. More rapid identification of edema symptoms would lead to better patient outcomes with earlier diagnoses. In families with a history of heart failure, it can become even more important that symptoms are caught early on.

When the right ventricle fails, it is unable to pump enough venous blood to the lungs, which leads to increased right atrial pressure and subsequently an increase in pressure in the systemic circulation. This rise in pressure travels all the way to the capillaries where the Starling equation predicts an increase in capillary filtration as a result. Fluid buildup in the extremities is known as peripheral edema.

Skin tissue is made up of three major layers: the epidermis, the...

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