Objective: Capillary leakage syndrome (CLS) is a frequent complication in s
epsis, characterized by loss of intravasal fluids leading to generalized ed
ema and hemodynamic instability despite massive fluid therapy, In spite of
its importance no standardized diagnostic criteria are available for CLS.
Design: Prospective clinical study.
Setting: 1800-bed university hospital.
Patients: Six septic shock patients with CLS were compared to six control p
Measurements and results: CLS was clinically determined by generalized edem
a, positive fluid balance, and weight gain. Plasma volume was measured by i
ndocyanine green, red blood cell volume by chromium-51 labeled erythrocytes
, and colloid osmotic pressure before and 90 min after the administration o
f 300 ml 20% albumin. Extracellular water (ECW) was measured using the inul
in distribution volume and bioelectrical impedance analysis. Red blood cell
s averaged 20.2 +/- 1.0 ml/kg body weight in CLS patients and 23.3 +/- 4.1
in controls. ECW was higher in CLS patients than in controls (40.0 +/- 6.9
vs. 21.7 +/- 3.7 l; p < 0.05). ECW of inulin was correlated with that measu
red by bioelectrical impedance analysis (r = 0.74, p < 0.01). The increase
in colloid osmotic pressure over the 90 min was less in CLS patients than i
n controls (1.1 +/- 0.3 vs. 2.8 +/- 1.3 mmHg; p < 0.05),
Conclusion: These results suggest that measurements of an increased ECW usi
ng bioelectrical impedance analysis combined with a different response of c
olloid osmotic pressure to administration of albumin can discriminate nonin
vasively between patients with and those without CLS.