Pulmonary edema

Most cases of pulmonary edema are due to an abnormal colloid osmotic pressure-pulmonary artery wedge pressure (COP-PAWP) gradient. Such cases usually respond to oxygen and diuretic therapy. Although some authorities advocate pulmonary artery catheterization in all pre-eclamptic women with pulmonary edema, its use is probably best limited to patients with persistent hypoxemia. Measurement of cardiac output, COP-PAWP gradient, and left ventricular stroke work index allows clarification of the pathophysiological mechanism. Women with cardiogenic pulmonary edema associated with left ventricular failure may benefit from afterload reduction.

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