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Zhonghua Er Ke Za Zhi. 2014 Jul;52(7):531-4.

[Negative pressure pulmonary edema with upper airway obstruction: analysis of 3 patients].

[Article in Chinese]

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Department of Intensive Care Medicine, Anhui Province Children's Hospital, Hefei 230051, China.
Department of Intensive Care Medicine, Anhui Province Children's Hospital, Hefei 230051, China. Email:



To investigate the clinical characteristics and treatment of negative pressure pulmonary edema (NPPE) with upper airway obstruction (UAO) in children.


Data of 3 cases with NPPE and UAO in pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) from Mar, 2007 to May, 2013 were analyzed.


(1) Two cases were male and 1 was female with age respectively 6, 16 and 30 months.One had airway foreign body , 1 laryngitis , and 1 retropharyngeal abscess. The onset of NPPE varied from 5 to 40 minutes following relief of obstruction. (2) NPPE presented with acute respiratory distress with signs of tachypnea, tachycardia, 2 of the 3 with pink frothy pulmonary secretions, progressively decreased oxygen saturation, rales on chest auscultation and wheezing. (3) NPPE chest radiograph showed diffuse interstitial and alveolar infiltrates, images confirmed pulmonary edema. (4) All these patients received these therapeutic measures including mechanical ventilation, retaining high PEEP, diuretics, limiting the fluid input volume to 80-90 ml/ (kg×d) on the basis of circulation stability. The rales on chest auscultation disappeared after 10, 6, 12 hours. The ventilators of 2 patients were removed within 24 hours, in another case it was removed 50 hours later because of secondary infection. All patients were cured and discharged without complication.


NPPE progresses very fast, characterized by rapid onset of symptoms of respiratory distress after UAO, with pulmonary edema on chest radiograph. The symptoms resolve rapidly if early support of breath and diuretics are applied properly.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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