Extracellular fluid

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The body fluid outside the cell composed of blood plasma, interstitial fluid, lymph and transcellular fluid.


In humans, the normal glucose concentration of extracellular fluid that is regulated by homeostasis is approximately 5 mM. The pH of extracellular fluid is tightly regulated by buffers around 7.4. The volume of extracellular fluid is typically 15 L (i.e. 12 L is interstitial fluid and 3 L is plasma).

Word origin: L, comb. form of extrā (adv. and prep.), outside (of), without. + NL cellulāris, equiv. to cellul(a), live cell.

Acronym: ECF.

Compare: intracellular fluid.
See also: extravascular fluid.