Thoracic fluid content: a novel parameter for detection of pulmonary edema in parturients with preeclampsia

J Clin Monit Comput. 2019 Jun;33(3):413-418. doi: 10.1007/s10877-018-0176-6. Epub 2018 Jun 23.


Acute pulmonary oedema is a serious complication of preeclampsia. Early detection of pulmonary edema in preeclampsia would improve fluid management and would also allow earlier detection of severe cases. The aim of this work is to evaluate the ability of thoracic fluid content measured by electrical cardiometry for early detection of pulmonary edema in parturients with preeclampsia. A prospective observational study included a cohort of preeclamptic parturients. On admission, lung ultrasound score was calculated, and thoracic fluid content was recorded using electrical cardiometry ICON device. Area under receiver operating characteristic (AUROC) curve was calculated for lung ultrasound score, thoracic fluid content for detection of pulmonary edema. Spearman correlation coefficient was calculated for correlation between lung ultrasound score and thoracic fluid content. Sixty patients were included in the study; of them, 6 patients (10%) required diuretics for pulmonary edema. Patients with pulmonary edema had higher lung ultrasound score and thoracic fluid content compared to other patients. Good correlation was reported between Lung ultrasound score and thoracic fluid content (r = 0.82). Thoracic fluid content and lung ultrasound score showed excellent diagnostic properties for pulmonary edema {AUROC: 0.941 (0.849-0.986), best cut-off value: 40 k ohm-1}, and {AUROC: 0.961 (0.887-0.994), best cut-off value of 15.7}. In parturients with preeclampsia, both lung ultrasound score and thoracic fluid content showed excellent properties for detection pulmonary edema. The high negative predictive value of both tests makes them useful screening tests to rule out pulmonary edema. The excellent correlation between both measures suggests that electrical cardiometry could be a promising surrogate to ultrasound for assessment of extravascular lung water.

Keywords: Electrical cardiometry; Lung ultrasound; Preeclampsia; Thoracic fluid content.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Area Under Curve
  • Extravascular Lung Water
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Lung / physiopathology
  • Pre-Eclampsia / physiopathology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pulmonary Edema / complications*
  • Pulmonary Edema / diagnostic imaging*
  • ROC Curve
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonography*
  • Young Adult