Pulmonary Congestion in Dialysis Patients

  • April 18, 2020
  • Blog
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A new study reported by the Italian researchers’ states that lung ultrasound can detect asymptomatic lung congestion in kidney failure patients which increases the risks of premature deaths and cardiovascular problems.


Kidney failure patients cannot eliminate excess fluid from the body effectively which if gets accumulated in lungs causes lung congestion (pulmonary oedema), but mostly does not cause any symptoms. This fluid accumulation in lungs causes breathing difficulties, is tough on the heart leading to congestive heart failure in severe cases.

A research conducted by the doctors from Riuniti Hospital in Reggio Calabria, Italy, published online in the journal of the American Society of Nephrology, measured the degree of lung congestion using ultrasound in nearly 400 dialysis patients.  The results showed that 14 per cent of them had severe congestion and 45 per cent had a moderate-to-severe congestion, and 71 per cent of moderate-to-severe congestion patients showed no symptoms. The severe congestion patients are 4.2 fold increased risk of premature death and 3.2 fold increased risk of cardiac events in a follow-up period of two years when compared to those with mild or no congestion.

Researchers   found that early detection of lung congestion is helpful in preventing the progression of cardiovascular problems. Experts believe that measure of fluid in the lungs is a better diagnosis for predicting the risk of a heart attack or early death for which lung ultrasound is the best tool, commonly used everywhere and is reasonably cheaper. 

Dialysis intensification in case of asymptomatic lung congestion can clear the fluid in the lungs and improve the cardiovascular health and may save many lives.

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