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Curr Opin Pediatr. 2005 Jun;17(3):381-4.

Pulmonary edema in infants and children.

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Department of Paediatrics and Lung Biology Programme, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Ontario M5G 1X8, Canada.



To provide an overview of the pathogenesis of pulmonary edema and describe recent discoveries related to the clearance of airspace fluid and potential new therapies for this life-threatening disorder.


It is clinically important to determine the mechanisms responsible for the clearance of fluid from the airspaces. At birth inadequate clearance of fetal lung liquid is one of the two mechanisms leading to respiratory distress syndrome in the premature infant. Adults with heart failure or adult respiratory distress syndrome survive when they had active absorption of airspace fluid, yet have greater morbidity or die when they show no evidence of active fluid clearance. Humans who are susceptible to high-altitude pulmonary edema have less ability to actively transport fluid across their respiratory epithelium.


New approaches to increase the active clearance of fluid from the airspaces, combined with further improvements in the intensive care and monitoring of patients with serious illnesses, will lead to improved care for patients with lung diseases characterized by increased lung water content.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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