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Pulmonary Edema

Pulmonary Oedema

Pulmonary edema is a clinical term that refers to the abnormal buildup of fluids within the lung tissues that causes physiological disturbances to the patient. Patients usually present with severe left sided heart failure with pulmonary hypertension and alveolar flooding in the lungs.


Presentation

Pulmonary edema from different causes can either present acutely or chronically. The following signs and symptoms are commonly seen with pulmonary edema:

Dyspnea
  • […] induced dyspnea Orthostatic dyspnea (dyspnea while lying down) Increased weight Bipedal edema Fatigue Fever Headache and dizziness Grayish blue skin tone Pulmonary edema is a medical emergency, thus initial diagnostic modalities are usually limited to[symptoma.com]
  • Medication for Pulmonary Edema In the acute situation, oxygen is the first drug that may help reduce dyspnea, or shortness of breath.[emedicinehealth.com]
  • Findings are severe dyspnea, diaphoresis, wheezing, and sometimes blood-tinged frothy sputum. Diagnosis is clinical and by chest x-ray.[merckmanuals.com]
  • A 62-year-old man presents with a three-day history of progressive dyspnea, nonproductive cough, and low-grade fever.[nejm.org]
Pneumonia
  • Pneumonia. Almost all of the signs which indicate pneumonia are exactly the same as HAPE. The only way to tell is by descending.[climbing-high.com]
  • Pulmonary edema or pneumonia Pulmonary edema can overlap with pneumonia, but it is a different condition. Pneumonia is an infection that often occurs as a complication of a respiratory infection, such as the flu .[medicalnewstoday.com]
  • .- ) tobacco use ( Z72.0 ) Diseases of the respiratory system J81 ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code J81 Pulmonary edema 2016 2017 2018 Non-Billable/Non-Specific Code Type 1 Excludes chemical (acute) pulmonary edema ( J68.1 ) hypostatic pneumonia ( J18.2 ) passive[icd10data.com]
  • Lung infections like pneumonia must be treated promptly and monitored to prevent progressive accumulation of fluids within the lung spaces.[symptoma.com]
  • Inflammatory edema results from influenza or bacterial pneumonia.[britannica.com]
Rales
  • Chest auscultation reveals rales and rhonchi bilaterally. A chest radiograph shows bilateral pulmonary infiltrates consistent with pulmonary edema and borderline enlargement of the cardiac silhouette.[nejm.org]
  • The provider will listen to your lungs and heart with a stethoscope to check for: Abnormal heart sounds Crackles in your lungs, called rales Increased heart rate (tachycardia) Rapid breathing (tachypnea) Other things that may be seen during the exam include[medlineplus.gov]
Orthopnea
  • Orthopnea and paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea are two variants of shortness of breath seen in association with pulmonary edema. Orthopnea describes shortness of breath while lying flat.[emedicinehealth.com]
  • […] exposure Kidney failure Narrowed arteries that bring blood to the kidneys Lung damage caused by poisonous gas or severe infection Major injury Symptoms of pulmonary edema may include: Coughing up blood or bloody froth Difficulty breathing when lying down (orthopnea[medlineplus.gov]
Pulmonary Disorder
  • Other factors that may put a person at risk include: history of pulmonary edema history of lung disease, such as tuberculosis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) vascular, or blood disorders Diagnosis of pulmonary edema You doctor will look[healthline.com]
Fatigue
  • Extreme fatigue/weakness Gurgling sound whilst breathing. If you place an ear to the victim’s chest, you may hear crackling or gurgling noises.[climbing-high.com]
  • Both can cause a feeling of fatigue and make sleeping difficult. A rapid irregular heartbeat is also common in both conditions. Both of these conditions can be life-threatening if left untreated.[livestrong.com]
  • Symptom…… Long term(chronic)  Paraxosomal nocturnal dyspnea  orthopnea  Rapid weight gain  Loss of appetite  fatigue  ankle and leg swelling 28.[slideshare.net]
  • […] lung fields Feeling of suffocation and drowning Restlessness and severe anxiety Productive cough (could be blood tinged) Palpitations and chest pain Exercise induced dyspnea Orthostatic dyspnea (dyspnea while lying down) Increased weight Bipedal edema Fatigue[symptoma.com]
  • Typical symptoms include: difficulty breathing when lying flat (orthopnea) swelling (edema) of feet or legs rapid weight gain due to the accumulation of excess fluid paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea - episodes of severe sudden breathlessness at night fatigue[medicalnewstoday.com]
Heart Disease
  • The doctor will inquire only on the important patient history, including pre-existing heart disease, and the circumstances of onset, the presence of trauma or not.[health.ccm.net]
  • Having a lot of long-term stress, smoking and having a family history of heart disease or cardiovascular disease are also risk factors.[rightdiagnosis.com]
  • Patients at risk for cardiogenic pulmonary edema may have risk factors for heart disease , including high blood pressure , high cholesterol , diabetes , family history of heart disease , and smoking .[emedicinehealth.com]
  • CONCLUSION Acute PE seems to be a rare but serious side effect of HBOT in patients with pre-existing heart disease. Thus caution should be observed in treating patients with prior heart disease and low LVEF with hyperbaric oxygen.[oxfordjournals.org]
Tachycardia
  • If the pulmonary edema is associated with severe tachycardia (or AF and electrical cardioversion failed), pharmacologic rate (and rhythm) control is essential in AS.[casesjournal.biomedcentral.com]
  • Dysrhythmias New-onset rapid atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia can be responsible for CPE.[emedicine.medscape.com]
  • The provider will listen to your lungs and heart with a stethoscope to check for: Abnormal heart sounds Crackles in your lungs, called rales Increased heart rate (tachycardia) Rapid breathing (tachypnea) Other things that may be seen during the exam include[medlineplus.gov]
Cyanosis
  • The accumulation of fluids in the lungs fill in the air sacs and manifest externally dyspnea, chest pain, and cyanosis.[symptoma.com]
  • Poor judgement Breathlessness during rest Rapid heart rate (90 to 100 bpm at rest) Blue/grey lips or fingernails (cyanosis) Fever of up to 101.3 F/38.5 C Profuse perspiration All symptoms are worse at night Confusion Collapse Coma Treatment is the same[climbing-high.com]
  • Accumulation of fluid in the interstitium and alveoli results in varying degrees of respiratory distress and cyanosis due to reduced oxygen transport into pulmonary capillaries.[vetstream.com]
  • (tachycardia) Rapid breathing (tachypnea) Other things that may be seen during the exam include: Leg or abdominal swelling Abnormalities of your neck veins (which can show that there is too much fluid in your body) Pale or blue skin color (pallor or cyanosis[medlineplus.gov]
Palpitations
  • Cont…  Palpitations  Excessive sweating  Skin color change-Pale skin  Chest pain(if it is Cardiogenic)  Rapid weight gain(cardiogenic)  Fatigue  Loss of appetite  Smoking History 38.[slideshare.net]
  • The following signs and symptoms are commonly seen with pulmonary edema: Acute dyspnea Wheezing of lung fields Feeling of suffocation and drowning Restlessness and severe anxiety Productive cough (could be blood tinged) Palpitations and chest pain Exercise[symptoma.com]
  • […] exertion, which progresses to shortness of breath at rest Cough Difficulty walking uphill, which progresses to difficulty walking on flat surfaces Fever A cough that produces frothy sputum that may be tinged with blood A rapid, irregular heartbeat (palpitations[mayoclinic.org]
  • […] with breathing difficulties, other signs and symptoms of acute pulmonary edema can include: cough, often with a pink frothy sputum excessive sweating anxiety and restlessness feelings of suffocation pale skin wheezing rapid or irregular heart rhythm (palpitations[medicalnewstoday.com]
S3 Gallop
  • Distinguishing Cardiogenic from Non-cardiogenic Pulmonary Edema  Finding suggesting cardiogenic edema -S3 gallop -elevated JVP -Peripheral edema  Findings suggesting non-cardiogenic edema -Pulmonary findings may be relatively normal in the early stages[slideshare.net]
  • An third heart sound (S3) gallop is frequently present. Careful auscultation for murmurs is necessary because of possible valvular or congenital etiologies of pulmonary edema.[tele.med.ru]
Kidney Failure
  • It can be caused by such things as heart or kidney failure, poisoning, or near-drowning.[myhealth.alberta.ca]
  • It may be caused by congestive heart failure, kidney failure, viral infections, lung illness or injury, smoke inhalation, near-drowning, adverse drug reactions, or exposure to high altitude .[lungmds.com]
  • Other heart-related problems that can lead to pulmonary edema include: Fluid overload - this can result from kidney failure or intravenous fluid therapy.[medicalnewstoday.com]
  • For example, severe infection ( sepsis ) is treated with antibiotics and other supportive measures, or kidney failure needs to be properly evaluated and managed.[medicinenet.com]
  • failure Narrowed arteries that bring blood to the kidneys Lung damage caused by poisonous gas or severe infection Major injury Symptoms of pulmonary edema may include: Coughing up blood or bloody froth Difficulty breathing when lying down (orthopnea)[medlineplus.gov]
Oliguria
  • […] nervous system disorders and without apparent preexisting LV dysfunction  Re-expansion pulmonary edema  Develops after removal of air or fluid that has been in pleural space for some time, post- thoracentesis  Patients may develop hypotension or oliguria[slideshare.net]
Headache
  • Feeling of suffocation and drowning Restlessness and severe anxiety Productive cough (could be blood tinged) Palpitations and chest pain Exercise induced dyspnea Orthostatic dyspnea (dyspnea while lying down) Increased weight Bipedal edema Fatigue Fever Headache[symptoma.com]
  • […] you sit up rapid weight gain, especially in the legs swelling in the lower part of the body fatigue High altitude pulmonary edema Pulmonary edema due to high altitude sickness, or not getting enough oxygen in the air, will have symptoms that include: headaches[healthline.com]
  • .  patient present with Headache, Insomnia, Fluid retention, Cough,Shortness of breath 26.[slideshare.net]
  • […] shortness of breath at rest Cough Difficulty walking uphill, which progresses to difficulty walking on flat surfaces Fever A cough that produces frothy sputum that may be tinged with blood A rapid, irregular heartbeat (palpitations) Chest discomfort Headaches[mayoclinic.org]
Dizziness
  • […] suffocation and drowning Restlessness and severe anxiety Productive cough (could be blood tinged) Palpitations and chest pain Exercise induced dyspnea Orthostatic dyspnea (dyspnea while lying down) Increased weight Bipedal edema Fatigue Fever Headache and dizziness[symptoma.com]
  • Other common symptoms may include easy fatigue , more rapidly developing shortness of breath than normal with usual activity (dyspnea on exertion), rapid breathing (tachypnea), dizziness , or weakness.[medicinenet.com]
  • These include weakness, fatigue , confusion , anxiety and dizziness .[rightdiagnosis.com]
  • […] suffocating (dyspnea) A bubbly, wheezing or gasping sound when you breathe Pink, frothy sputum when you cough Breathing difficulty along with profuse sweating A blue or gray tone to your skin A significant drop in blood pressure resulting in lightheadedness, dizziness[mayoclinic.org]
Agitation
  • In acute pulmonary edema, the patient may be extremely fearful or agitated. Breathlessness, dizziness, and faintness are common complaints.[tele.med.ru]
  • Signs  Tachycardia  Tachypnea  Confusion  Agitation  Anxious  Diaphoric  Hypertension  Cool extremities  Rales  Wheezing  CVS findings ; S3 ,accentuation of pulmonic component of S2, jugular venous distention….. 29.[slideshare.net]
  • Although symptoms usually develop within one hour of the precipitating event, delayed onsets have been reported. 5 , 7 , 13 , 15 , 25 , 30 The presence of agitation, tachypnea, tachycardia, frothy pink pulmonary secretions, rales and progressive oxygen[aafp.org]

Workup

Pulmonary edema is a medical emergency, thus initial diagnostic modalities are usually limited to the preliminary physical examination, chest X-ray, and electrocardiography (ECG). When patients are judged to be stable, they will be subjected to the different test and diagnostic procedures as a standard work up for pulmonary edema. The following tests are conducted to patients with pulmonary edema:

  • Chest X-ray
  • Pulse oximetry
  • Blood tests 
  • ECG
  • Echocardiography
  • Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE)
  • Pulmonary artery and cardiac catheterization
Kerley B Lines
  • Chest X-ray will show fluid in the alveolar walls, Kerley B lines , increased vascular shadowing in a classical batwing peri- hilum pattern, upper lobe diversion (increased blood flow to the superior parts of the lung), and possibly pleural effusions[en.wikipedia.org]
  • .  Chest radiography A cardiogenic cause is favored with  Cardiomegaly  Kerley B lines and loss of distinct vascular margins  Cephalization: engorgement of vasculature to the apices  Perihilar alveolar infiltrate  Pleural effusion Non cardiogenic[slideshare.net]
  • On a CXR, cardiogenic pulmonary edema can show; cephalization of the pulmonary vessels, Kerley B lines or septal lines, peribronchial cuffing, "bat wing" pattern, patchy shadowing with air bronchograms, and increased cardiac size.[med-ed.virginia.edu]
Pulmonary Edema on Chest X-Ray
  • When you see a pulmonary edema on chest x-ray (CXR), the knee jerk reaction is to attribute it to heart failure. But what might you be missing? Not all the glitters is gold. And not all that is wet on CXR is just plain ol’ CHF.[canadiem.org]
  • A chest X-ray is generally performed to see the size and shape of the heart and can reveal lung congestion, pulmonary edema, and other conditions, such as pneumonia . Other tests may include an imaging test called an echocardiogram.[rightdiagnosis.com]
Pulmonary Infiltrate
  • A chest radiograph shows bilateral pulmonary infiltrates consistent with pulmonary edema and borderline enlargement of the cardiac silhouette.[nejm.org]
Bilateral Pulmonary Infiltrate
  • A chest radiograph shows bilateral pulmonary infiltrates consistent with pulmonary edema and borderline enlargement of the cardiac silhouette.[nejm.org]
Hypercapnia
  • Non-invasive ventilation should be considered in dyspnoeic patients with pulmonary oedema and a respiratory rate 20 breaths/minute to improve breathlessness and reduce hypercapnia and acidosis.[patient.info]
  • Although the BiPAP group had greater reductions in PaCO 2 , systolic blood pressure, mean arterial pressure, and hypercapnia than did the CPAP group, myocardial infarction rates were higher in the BiPAP group (71%) than in the CPAP group (31%) and the[pmj.bmj.com]

Treatment

Patients presenting with pulmonary edema are usually attached to an oxygen source through mask or nasal cannula to allay the symptoms of dyspnea. Although severe cases presenting with respiratory failure may already require mechanical ventilation [9]. For cardiogenic pulmonary edema, a cardiac preload unloader like furosemide can reduce the accumulation of fluids in the air sacs. In the same way, an afterload reducer like nitroprusside that dilates the systemic vessels and unloads the ventricular workload can mitigate the crisis. Morphine is sometimes given to control chest pain and severe anxiety in patients. Blood pressure regulating medications may also be given with the need arise during the resuscitative phase of pulmonary edema.

Prognosis

The prognosis for patients who subsequently develop congestive heart failure with hydrostatic pulmonary edema is poor. It carries a mean survival time of 1.7 years among males and 3.2 years in females from the time of diagnosis [7]. Most cases of neurogenic pulmonary edema remains underdiagnosed due to the imposing primary disorder that undermines its existence. The relative morbidity of neurogenic pulmonary edema is as high as 50% while its relative mortality rating is as low as 7% [8].

Etiology

The following etiologic factors and medical conditions predispose susceptible patients to pulmonary edema:

Epidemiology

The American Heart Association (AHA) has reported at 550,000 new cases of cardiogenic pulmonary edema each year in the United States. Congestive heart failure has caused the death of at least 287,000 of these cases in 1999 alone [3]. The lifetime risk for hydrostatic pulmonary edema has practically doubled beyond 40 years of age especially those with hypertension concomitant with congestive heart failure [4].

There is a slight predilection for the male population compared to the females due to the decreasing incidence of cardiogenic and neurogenic inciting events among females. In neurogenic pulmonary edema, more than half of patients have sustained a blunt trauma to the head with concussion. More than 71% of patient fatalities with subarachnoid hemorrhage complicates with neurogenic pulmonary edema. In at least of a third of the patients with status epilepticus develop neurogenic pulmonary edema [5].

Sex distribution
Age distribution

Pathophysiology

The accumulation of the fluid within the alveoli is commonly brought about by cardiogenic causes. In the normal flow of blood, the atria receives the blood from the lungs where it is pumped outward by the left ventricle to the other organs of the body. Any pathology that endangers this balance and causes an increased pressure in the atria can cause a backflow of fluids to the air sacs due to the increased in ventricular and atrial pressure. Heart related pathologies that results in cardiogenic pulmonary edema include coronary artery diseases, cardiomyopathy, hypertension, and cardiac valvular problems. In non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema however, the capillaries within the lungs become more permeable or “leaky” due to inflammatory responses with infection, bleeding, and pressure. This are usually brought about by toxins, medications, contrast media [6], viral infections, barotrauma, near drowning, and neurogenic disorders.

Prevention

The active control of the congestive heart failure is paramount in the prevention of the hydrostatic pulmonary edema. Lung infections like pneumonia must be treated promptly and monitored to prevent progressive accumulation of fluids within the lung spaces. Adequate acclimatization should be in place for high altitude athletes to prevent the occurrence of pulmonary edema. A preventive dose of the corticosteroid dexamethasone may avert the progression to pulmonary edema of patients diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension and barotrauma [10].

Summary

Pulmonary edema is a medical condition wherein there is an excessive fluid in the pulmonary space. The accumulating fluid in the lungs fills in the air sacs and manifest externally as dyspnea. Pulmonary edema is most commonly caused by heart failure although some non-cardiac causes like pulmonary infections, reactions to medications, external trauma, barotrauma from high altitudes, and toxins may predispose patients to this serious lung disorder. Pulmonary edema which occurs acutely is considered a serious medical emergency that could be potentially fatal if not treated immediately.

Patient Information

Definition

Pulmonary edema is a medical condition wherein there is an abnormal accumulation of fluid (exudates) in the alveoli. The accumulation of fluids in the lungs fill in the air sacs and manifest externally dyspnea, chest pain, and cyanosis.

Cause

The majority of cases of pulmonary edema are caused by cardiogenic factors like congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy and valvular diseases. Non-cardiogenic causes include pneumonia, toxins, medications, and barotrauma.

Symptoms

Patients usually present with dyspnea, chest pain, signs of cyanosis, productive cough of red tinged sputum, and severe anxiety with restlessness.

Diagnosis

Preliminary physical examination, ECG and Chest X-ray are routinely done in an emergency setting for patients suspected of pulmonary edema. Additional tests like pulse oximetry, blood tests, echocardiography, and pulmonary/cardiac catheterization are performed as soon as the patients are stabilized.

Treatment and follow-up

Oxygen inhalation is the primary intervention given to patients with pulmonary edema. Cardiogenic pulmonary edema patients are given preload unloaders and afterload reducers to allay the cardiogenic instability. Morphine may also be given to relieve the chest pain and severe anxiety in patients.

References

Article

  1. Muroi C, Keller M, Pangalu A, Fortunati M, Yonekawa Y, Keller E. Neurogenic pulmonary edema in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage. J Neurosurg Anesthesiol. Jul 2008; 20(3):188-92.
  2. Baumann A, Audibert G, McDonnell J, Mertes PM. Neurogenic pulmonary edema. Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. Apr 2007; 51(4):447-55.
  3. Levy D, Kenchaiah S, Larson MG, et al. Long-term trends in the incidence of and survival with heart failure. N Engl J Med 2002; 347:1397–402.
  4. Lloyd-Jones DM, Larson MG, Leip EP, et al. Lifetime risk for developing congestive heart failure: the Framingham Heart Study. Circulation 2002; 106:3068–72.
  5. Reuter-Rice K, Duthie S, Hamrick J. Neurogenic pulmonary edema associated with pediatric status epilepticus. Pediatr Emerg Care. Oct 2011; 27(10):957-8.
  6. Demirhan A, Yasar Tekelioglu U, Akkaya A, Dagistan E, Suzi Ayhan S, Ozturk S. Magnetic resonance imaging contrast agent related pulmonary edema: a case report. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. Oct 2012; 16 Suppl 4:110-2.
  7. Lloyd-Jones DM. The risk of congestive heart failure: sobering lessons from the Framingham Heart Study. Curr Cardiol Rep 2001; 3:184–90.
  8. Piazza O, Venditto A, Tufano R. Neurogenic pulmonary edema in subarachnoid hemorrage. Panminerva Med. Sep 2011; 53(3):203-10.
  9. LHer E, Duquesne F, Girou E, de Rosiere XD, Le Conte P, Renault S, et al. Noninvasive continuous positive airway pressure in elderly cardiogenic pulmonary edema patients. Intensive Care Med. May 2004; 30(5):882-8.
  10. Perimenis P. Sildenafil for the treatment of altitude-induced hypoxaemia. Expert Opin Pharmacother 2005 6 (5): 835–7. 

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