Pathogenesis of neurogenic pulmonary oedema

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Theodore J and Robin ED (1975) Pathogenesis of neurogenic pulmonary oedema. Lancet 2:7938 749–51.

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Abstract: Evidence suggests that the initial phase of neurogenic pulmonary oedema results from a centrally mediated, massive, sympathetic discharge. It is postulated that this produces intense, generlised, but transient, vasoconstriction with a resultant shift of blood from the high-resistance systemic circulation to the low-resistance pulmonary circulation. Pronounced increases in pulmonary vascular pressures and blood-volume then produce pulmonary oedema because of the hydrostatic effect of increased pulmonary capillary pressure. In addition, pulmonary hypertension and hypervolaemia injure pulmonary blood-vessels, altering pulmonary capillary permeability and producing lung haemorrhage. After the transient systemic and pulmonary vascular hypertension subside, the patient is left with abnormal pulmonary capillary permeability, so that pulmonary oedema persists in the face of normal haemodynamic and cardiac function.


  • See Theodore and Robin.