Neurogenic Pulmonary Edema Clinical Presentation

Updated: Nov 11, 2020
  • Author: Tej K Naik, MD; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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History and Physical Examination


Neurogenic pulmonary edema (NPE) characteristically presents within minutes to hours of a severe central nervous system insult. NPE is characterized by dyspnea, bilateral basal pulmonary crackles, and the absence of cardiac failure. [8]

Physical examination

Physical findings may include the following:

  • Tachypnea

  • Tachycardia

  • Bibasilar crackles

  • Respiratory distress

  • Pulmonary edema occurs but with normal jugular venous pressure and an absence of cardiac gallop, which should raise the possibility of a neurogenic cause

  • Fever - May occur secondary to the neurological disturbance (eg, subarachnoid hemorrhage)