[Edema in pregnancy--trivial?]

Ther Umsch. 2004 Nov;61(11):687-90. doi: 10.1024/0040-5930.61.11.687.
[Article in German]


In pregnancy total body water increases. At least 25% of the fluid will be distributed to the interstitial space, ultimately clinically imposing as lower leg edema of pregnant women. Next to a cumulative sodium retention, altered local Starling forces and changes in the hydration of extracellular matrix add to the fluid shift. Edema have to be expected in most of the pregnant women and should not be used to diagnose preeclampsia. Atypical edema localization and local, unilateral edema should cast suspicion of other dangerous complications of pregnancy. Diuretics should be restricted to pulmonary edema of preeclampsia, but these drugs are not to be used to manage edema of pregnancy.

MeSH terms

  • Body Weight / physiology
  • Contraindications
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diuretics
  • Edema / etiology*
  • Edema / physiopathology
  • Extracellular Fluid / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pre-Eclampsia / diagnosis
  • Pre-Eclampsia / etiology
  • Pre-Eclampsia / physiopathology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / etiology*
  • Pregnancy Complications / physiopathology
  • Reference Values
  • Risk Factors
  • Sodium / metabolism


  • Diuretics
  • Sodium