Clinical Features of Patients with Diffuse Alveolar Hemorrhage due to Negative-Pressure Pulmonary Edema
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Diffuse alveolar hemorrhage (DAH) with negative-pressure pulmonary edema (NPPE) is an uncommon yet life-threatening condition. We aimed at describing the circumstances, clinical, radiological, and bronchoscopic features, as well as the outcome of patients with NPPE-related DAH.
We performed a retrospective, observational cohort study, using data prospectively collected over 35 years in an intensive care unit (ICU).
Of the 149 patients admitted for DAH, we identified 18 NPPE episodes in 15 patients, one admitted four times for recurrent NPPE-related DAH. The patients were primarily young, male, and athletic. The NPPE setting was postoperative (n = 12/18, 67%) or following generalized tonic–clonic seizures (n = 6/18, 33%). Hemoptysis was almost constant (n = 17/18, 94%), yet rarely massive (>200 cc, n = 1/18, 6%), with anemia observed in 10 (56%) episodes. The DAH triad (hemoptysis, anemia, and pulmonary infiltrates) was observed in 50% of episodes (n = 9/18), and acute respiratory failure in 94% (n = 17/18). Chest computed tomography revealed diffuse bilateral ground glass opacities (n = 10/10, 100%), while bronchoscopy detected bilateral hemorrhage (n = 12/12, 100%) and macroscopically bloody bronchoalveolar lavage, with siderophage absence in most (n = 7/8, 88%), indicating acute DAH. While one episode proved fatal, the other 17 recovered rapidly, with a mean ICU stay lasting 4.6 (2–15) days. Typically, the evolution was rapidly favorable under supportive care.
NPPE-related DAH is a rare life-threatening condition occurring primarily after tonic–clonic generalized seizure or generalized anesthesia. Clinical circumstances are a key to its diagnosis. Early diagnosis and recognition likely allow for successful management of this potentially serious complication, whereas ictal-DAH appears ominous in epileptic patients.
KeywordsAirway obstruction Diffuse alveolar hemorrhage Negative-pressure pulmonary edema Post-obstructive pulmonary edema
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
None of the authors have any conflict of interest associated with the work presented in this manuscript.
The institutional review board of the French learned society for respiratory medicine (Société de Pneumologie de Langue Française) approved this retrospective non-interventional study, waiving the need for informed consent.
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