Alternate Names : Lung Edema, Fluid in the Lung
Pulmonary edema is an abnormal buildup of fluid within the tissues of the lung.
What is going on in the body?
Fluid can build up in the lungs for many reasons. This fluid makes it difficult for the lungs to give oxygen to the blood. The low oxygen in the blood and the fluid itself cause symptoms.
What are the causes and risks of the condition?
Pulmonary edema has many causes, including:
heart problems, such as a weakened heart due to cardiomyopathy or heart attacks. An abnormal heart valve, such as occurs with chronic mitral regurgitation, may also cause this condition.
infection in the lung, such as pneumonia
infection in the blood, known as sepsis
low protein levels in the body, such as from malnutrition or a kidney condition called nephrotic syndrome, in which protein is lost into the urine. Cirrhosis, or permanent hardening and scarring of the liver, can also cause low protein in the body.
exposure to certain toxins or medications, such as carbon monoxide poisoning or a severe aspirin overdose
severe allergic reactions, called anaphylaxis, which may occur in response to antibiotics such as penicillin and other medications
acute mountain sickness, which occurs when a person goes from a low altitude to a high altitude quickly
radiation therapy or radiation sickness