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Cardiology Research and Practice
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 407035, 6 pages
Review Article

Extravascular Lung Water and Acute Lung Injury

Division of Intensive Care Medicine, King's College Hospital, Denmark Hill, London SE5 9RS, UK

Received 12 May 2011; Revised 12 June 2011; Accepted 28 June 2011

Academic Editor: Antoine Vieillard-Baron

Copyright © 2012 Ritesh Maharaj. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Acute lung injury carries a high burden of morbidity and mortality and is characterised by nonhydrostatic pulmonary oedema. The aim of this paper is to highlight the role of accurate quantification of extravascular lung water in diagnosis, management, and prognosis in “acute lung injury” and “acute respiratory distress syndrome”. Several studies have verified the accuracy of both the single and the double transpulmonary thermal indicator techniques. Both experimental and clinical studies were searched in PUBMED using the term “extravascular lung water” and “acute lung injury”. Extravascular lung water measurement offers information not otherwise available by other methods such as chest radiography, arterial blood gas, and chest auscultation at the bedside. Recent data have highlighted the role of extravascular lung water in response to treatment to guide fluid therapy and ventilator strategies. The quantification of extravascular lung water may predict mortality and multiorgan dysfunction. The limitations of the dilution method are also discussed.