[Pulmonary edema after upper airway obstruction]

K M Larsen, L S Nielsen
Ugeskrift for Laeger 1995 June 12, 157 (24): 3464-7
Post obstructive pulmonary edema (POPE) is a rare, but potentially dangerous condition. We present two patients with post-anaesthetic POPE. The literature is reviewed and aetiology, risk factors, pathogenesis, symptoms, prophylaxis and management are discussed. The condition is often associated with upper airway obstruction related to anaesthesia, but is also related to other causes of upper airway obstruction. Development of pulmonary edema can be delayed for up to 90 minutes. The treatment consists of oxygen therapy by nasal catheter or by mask with continuous positive airway pressure. In severe cases, intubation and mechanical ventilation by respirator with positive end-expiratory pressure is necessary. Further therapy is controversial and without significant effect. With sufficient therapy, almost all patients regain their habitual condition within 24-48 hours and present a normal chest X-ray.

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