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September 8, 1917


Author Affiliations

Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine, Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons NEW YORK

JAMA. 1917;LXIX(10):800-805. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.02590370036014

Edema of the lungs becomes a clinical condition when there is such an accumulation of tissue fluid in the tissue spaces that it transudes into the alveoli. Thus the patient's lung tends to fill with fluid to the exclusion of air, and actually approximates the condition in drowning. The edema appears first in the lower lobes and the middle lobe, and not till the late stages does it extend to any great degree to the upper lobes.

The first distinctive signs are dyspnea and large liquid râles over the lower lobes. In severe degrees of edema the breathing is that of suffocation, there is cyanosis, and there exudes or is expectorated from the mouth a thin serous frothy fluid often tinged with blood. This fluid contains protein, and is recorded as amounting to as much as 2 liters (J. L. Brown1).

Edema of the lungs may present itself in