Postobstructive pulmonary edema

Ashish Udeshi, Shawn Michael Cantie, Edgar Pierre
Journal of Critical Care 2010, 25 (3): 508.e1-5
Postobstructive pulmonary edema (POPE; also known as negative pressure pulmonary edema) is a potentially life-threatening complication in which pulmonary edema occurs shortly after the relief of an upper airway obstruction. The incidence of POPE has been reported to be as high as 1 in 1000 general anesthetic cases and commonly presents as acute respiratory distress that requires immediate intervention. This review examines the 2 subclasses of POPE and describes the etiologic factors, pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, diagnostic criteria, and treatment strategies associated with each. The aim of this review was to equip clinicians with the knowledge base necessary to identify patients at increased risk for POPE and to expeditiously diagnose and treat this potentially catastrophic complication.

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