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Reexpansion Pulmonary Edema Following Local Anesthetic ThoracoscopyReexpansion Pulmonary Edema Postthoracoscopy: Correlation and Evolution of Radiographic and Ultrasonographic Findings

John P. Corcoran, BMBCh; Ioannis Psallidas, PhD; Graham Barker, MBBS; Anny Sykes, PhD; Robert J. Hallifax, BMBCh; Fergus V. Gleeson, MD, FCCP; Najib M. Rahman, DPhil
Author and Funding Information

From the Oxford Centre for Respiratory Medicine (Drs Corcoran, Psallidas, Sykes, Hallifax, and Rahman), the Department of Critical Care (Dr Barker), and the Department of Radiology (Dr Gleeson), Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, Oxford, England.

CORRESPONDENCE TO: John P. Corcoran, BMBCh, Oxford Centre for Respiratory Medicine, Churchill Hospital, Oxford, OX3 7LE, England; e-mail: jpcorcoran@doctors.org.uk


Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians. See online for more details.


Chest. 2014;146(2):e34-e37. doi:10.1378/chest.13-2989
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Local anesthetic (medical) thoracoscopy is used with increasing frequency by pulmonologists worldwide for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes, notably in comorbid patients who may not be physiologically robust enough for general anesthesia. Understanding the complications that can arise and how to manage them is crucial for any physician performing this procedure. Reexpansion pulmonary edema is a rare but recognized complication of draining pleural effusions and pneumothoraces that has not been described previously in association with physician-led thoracoscopy. This case provides an opportunity for an overview of what is known about this unusual but potentially fatal condition. Data correlating ultrasonographic, radiographic, and clinical progression are also presented to highlight the potential usefulness of ultrasonography in identifying lung parenchymal abnormalities such as extravascular lung water.

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