Christopher Kanner, MA; Seth M. Hardy, MD
Potential Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.
Kanner C., Hardy S.; An Unusual Cause of Unilateral Pulmonary Edema. Ann Intern Med. 2013;158:639-640. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-158-8-201304160-00020
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2013;158(8):639-640.
Background: The physiology of unilateral pulmonary edema in adults is the same as that of bilateral pulmonary edema. The former is classified as “ipsilateral” or “contralateral,” depending on its relationship to the primary lesion. Causes of ipsilateral pulmonary edema include aspiration, reexpansion, contusion, misplaced central line, veno-occlusive disease, prolonged decubitus positioning, and mitral regurgitation, whereas causes of contralateral pulmonary edema include pulmonary embolism, lobectomy, and denervation (1, 2). The prevalence of unilateral pulmonary edema is not well-studied but may be as high as 2.1% in patients with pulmonary edema. Unilateral pulmonary edema is associated with a higher in-hospital mortality rate than bilateral pulmonary edema (3).
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