Re-expansion pulmonary edema


This is likely a case of re-expansion pulmonary edema following an evacuation of a spontaneous pneumothorax. Relatively rapid resolution of pulmonary findings on CT with reduction of pneumothorax is what favors re-expansion edema rather than pulmonary hemorrhage or contusion. 

Key learning points:

  • Re-expansion pulmonary edema is a rare but potentially life-threatening complication of pneumothorax re-expansion and thoracocentesis procedures.
  • Despite being more common in individuals age 20-39 1, it may occur in patients over the age of 40.


  1. Roger Rozzi, DO
  2. Saud Ahmed, MD
  3. David Gabbert, DO
  4. Brittany Cloud, DO
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