Thirteen patients with renal failure and pulmonary oedema were assessed for evidence of increased pulmonary vascular permeability to protein by a double isotope technique. Comparison was made with 10 patients with cardiogenic pulmonary oedema, 11 healthy volunteers, and 10 patients with the adult respiratory distress syndrome. There was no significant difference in the accumulation of a radiolabelled plasma protein (transferrin) in patients with renal or cardiogenic pulmonary oedema and normal volunteers. Patients with adult respiratory distress syndrome showed significantly greater protein permeability (p less than 0.001). In pulmonary oedema associated with renal failure managed by current regimens there was no evidence of increased permeability to transferrin.
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