Pre-eclampsia (PE) is a disease of pregnancy associated with peripheral oedema and hypovolaemia, but few details are known about how women with PE handle a volume load of crystalloid fluid compared with healthy pregnant women. To study this issue, Ringer's acetate solution (12.5 ml/kg of body weight) was given by intravenous infusion over 30 min to eight women with PE and to eight healthy pregnant women matched with respect to gestational week (mean, 34 weeks). Venous blood was sampled and excreted urine was collected over 90 min to study the time course of the volume expansion by means of volume kinetic analysis. The results show that the size of the central body fluid space expanded by the infused fluid was smaller in PE (mean, 2940 ml compared with 4240 ml respectively; P<0.04), and the clearance constants for distribution (100 ml/min compared with 43 ml/min; P<0.04) and elimination (125 ml/min compared with 36 ml/min; P<0.02) were higher in the women with PE than in the controls. Less excess volume accumulated in the central body fluid space in the presence of PE, whereas the rates of distribution and elimination were higher during and for 15 min after the infusion. It is concluded that Ringer's acetate solution fluid is both distributed and eliminated faster in women with PE than in matched pregnant controls.

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