Introduction

Pulmonary edema is frequently encountered in critically ill patients. Whatever the cause, its presence is an ominous finding and is associated with an increased mortality. Furthermore, in such patients therapeutic intervention is strongly influenced by the desire not to exacerbate any further accumulation of fluid in the lung with subsequent deteriorating gas exchange. In this context it is hardly surprising that the measurement of extravascular lung water is of such great clinical and experimental interest. The ideal method for measuring lung water should be accurate, sensitive, reproducible, non-invasive, convenient, and inexpensive ( Staub. 1986). However, at present, despite considerable effort, no single method satisfies all these criteria.

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