Neurogenic pulmonary edema and acute respiratory distress syndrome in a healthy child with febrile status epilepticus

Nguyen, T. T.; Hussain, E.; Grimason, M.; Goldstein, J.; Wainwright, M. S.

J Child Neurol. 2012 Aug 18; 28(10):1287-91


Neurogenic pulmonary edema is a clinical syndrome that manifests as an acute onset of pulmonary edema in the setting of a central nervous system injury, without cardiac dysfunction. Neurogenic pulmonary edema is rare in children, and the mechanism is still not completely understood. The clinical pathology overlaps with acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome. The authors report a case of a 14-month-old previously healthy child who presented with febrile status epilepticus, fulminant neurogenic pulmonary edema, and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Neurogenic pulmonary edema should be considered in the differential diagnosis for the rapid progression of respiratory failure following an acute neurological injury such as status epilepticus in a child. Prompt respiratory support and treatment of the acute neurological insult can prevent further cerebral hypoxemic injury.

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