What are risk factors for reexpansion pulmonary edema in pneumothorax?

Updated: Apr 28, 2020
  • Author: Brian J Daley, MD, MBA, FACS, FCCP, CNSC; Chief Editor: Mary C Mancini, MD, PhD, MMM  more...
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Answer

Reexpansion pulmonary edema is a unilateral pulmonary edema that is seen after reinflation of a collapsed lung. It can also occur in the opposite lung. The incidence, etiology, risks, and mortality rates of this condition are controversial.

Findings from animal studies and several case reports in humans indicate that reexpansion pulmonary edema may occur more often if a pneumothorax is present for longer than 3 days, if the evacuation volume is greater than 2000 mL, and if suction is applied. This information is important because in one study, 46% of patients waited more than 2 days after their symptoms started to seek medical attention, and, in another study, 18% waited more than 7 days.


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