Chest ultrasound and hidden lung congestion in peritoneal dialysis patients

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2012 Sep;27(9):3601-5. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfs116. Epub 2012 May 9.


Background: Chest ultrasound (US) is a non-invasive well-validated technique for estimating extravascular lung water (LW) in patients with heart diseases and in end-stage renal disease. We systematically applied this technique to the whole peritoneal dialysis (PD) population of five dialysis units.

Methods: We studied the cross-sectional association between LW, echocardiographic parameters, clinical [pedal oedema, New York Heart Association (NYHA) class] and bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) markers of volume status in 88 PD patients.

Results: Moderate to severe lung congestion was evident in 41 (46%) patients. Ejection fraction was the echocardiographic parameter with the strongest independent association with LW (r = -0.40 P = 0.002). Oedema did not associate with LW on univariate and multivariate analysis. NYHA class was slightly associated with LW (r = 0.21 P = 0.05). Among patients with severe lung congestion, only 27% had pedal oedema and the majority (57%) had no dyspnoea (NYHA Class I). Similarly, the prevalence of patients with BIA, evidence of volume excess was small (11%) and not significantly different (P = 0.79) from that observed in patients with mild or no congestion (9%).

Conclusions: In PD patients, LW by chest US reveals moderate to severe lung congestion in a significant proportion of asymptomatic patients. Intervention studies are necessary to prove the usefulness of chest US for optimizing the control of fluid excess in PD patients.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Echocardiography
  • Electric Impedance*
  • Extravascular Lung Water / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peritoneal Dialysis / adverse effects*
  • Prognosis
  • Pulmonary Edema / diagnosis
  • Pulmonary Edema / etiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Thorax / diagnostic imaging*


  • Biomarkers