Near drowning pulmonary oedema

Near drowning pulmonary oedema is considered an aetiological subtype of non cardiogenic pulmonary oedema. It can occur with both salt water and fresh water near-drowning.

Pathology

It is thought to result from the inhalation of either fresh water or sea water resulting in lung damage and a ventilation-perfusion mismatch.

Near drowning can be divided into three stages:

  • stage 1: acute laryngospasm that occurs after inhalation of a small amount of water
  • stage 2: the victim still usually presents with laryngospasm but may begin to swallow water into the stomach
  • stage 3
    • 10-15% of patients still present with dry drowning caused by persistence of the associated laryngospasm
    • in the remaining 85-90% of patients, the laryngospasm relaxes secondary to hypoxia and large amounts of water are aspirated

Radiographic features

Radiography

Features in stages 2 and 3 on chest radiographs are usually identical to pulmonary oedema from other non-cardiac causes 3.

Share article

Article information

rID: 19258
Systems: Chest, Forensic
Tag: cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Near drowning pulmonary edema
  • Near-drowning pulmonary oedema
  • Near-drowning pulmonary edema

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and figures

  • Drag
    Case 1
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Case 2
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Drag
    Case 3
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.
    Loadinganimation

    Alert accept

    Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

    Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.