In-hospital and short-term prognostic factors in acute pulmonary edema: clinical and morphological features

Vol. 58 No. 4, 2017


Cristian Militaru, Cristina Maria Marginean, Carmen-Daniela Neagoe, Ruxandra Camelia Deliu, Dragos Ovidiu Alexandru, Marina Daniela Manescu, Ilona Mihaela Liliac, Constantin Militaru, Ion Rogoveanu

Introduction: There are extensive records which have included patients with acute heart failure (AHF), but specific studies about prognosis in acute pulmonary edema (PE) are scarce and have enrolled a small number of patients. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the predictive factors of short-term evolution in patients with PE. Patients, Materials and Methods: This was a prospective, two-center survey of 70 consecutive patients admitted for acute cardiogenic PE. The follow-up was performed one month after discharge. The composite endpoint was in-hospital death, and death of any cause or readmission for heart failure (HF) at one month after discharge. Heart and lung tissue analysis was performed postmortem to identify morphological features of PE. Results: In-hospital mortality was 4.2%, another 14.2% died in the first month, and an additional 10% required rehospitalization for HF. The characteristics significantly associated with end-point occurrence were: history of kidney disease, anemia, diabetes mellitus, lack of prior angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor/angiotensin-receptor blocker treatment, lower systolic blood pressure (BP) at admission, lower diastolic BP at admission, creatinine at admission and at discharge, an increase in creatinine during stay, glomerular filtration rate at admission, serum sodium at admission, decrease in serum sodium during hospitalization, N-terminal prohormone of brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) at discharge, right ventricle fractional area change, left atrium volume index. We created a multiple logistic regression model and identified five prognostic factors: age, diabetes, creatinine, diastolic BP, serum sodium. This model correctly classified 48 (96%) patients without worsening and 13 (65%) patients with worsening, providing an overall accuracy of 87.1%. Necropsy was performed on five patients and fragments of left ventricle myocardium and lung were harvested for histopathological and immunohistochemical studies. The myocardium exhibited fibrosis areas where the myocytes were completely or partially replaced by collagen fibers. Lung tissue analysis revealed some case-to-case differences, but the common finding was alveoli size larger than normal, with the lumen completely or almost completely covered by an eosinophilic liquid. Conclusions: The factors that best predicted the short-term outcome in PE were age, diabetes, diastolic BP, creatinine, serum sodium.

Corresponding author: Constantin Militaru, Associate Professor, MD, PhD; e-mail:

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