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Pulmonary Edema Associated With Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy*

Lindell K. Weaver, MD, FCCP; Sue Churchill, APRN-NP
Author and Funding Information

*From the Department of Hyperbaric Medicine, LDS Hospital, Salt Lake City, UT.

Correspondence to: Lindell K. Weaver, MD, FCCP, Department of Hyperbaric Medicine, LDS Hospital, 8th Ave, C St, Salt Lake City, UT 84143; e-mail: lweaver@ihc.com



Chest. 2001;120(4):1407-1409. doi:10.1378/chest.120.4.1407
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We report three cases of pulmonary edema associated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy, including one fatality. All three patients had cardiac disease and reduced left ventricular (LV) ejection fractions (EFs). Two patients had diabetes, and one patient had severe aortic stenosis. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy may contribute to pulmonary edema by increasing LV afterload, increasing LV filling pressures, increasing oxidative myocardial stress, decreasing LV compliance by oxygen radical-mediated reduction in nitric oxide, altering cardiac output between the right and left hearts, inducing bradycardia with concomitant LV dysfunction, increasing pulmonary capillary permeability, or by causing pulmonary oxygen toxicity. We advise caution in the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in patients with heart failure or in patients with reduced cardiac EFs.


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