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September 1955

Some Current Concepts of Pulmonary Edema

Author Affiliations

U. S. N. R.

From the U. S. Naval Hospital, San Diego, Calif.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1955;96(3):375-379. doi:10.1001/archinte.1955.00250140097010

It appears that pulmonary edema would be a subject about which much agreement could be reached as to its definition, physiopathology, clinical recognition, and treatment. However, such is not the case. There exists today a marked dichotomy of thought between clinicians who study patients and physiologists who study mechanisms. The internist usually designates the condition by a physiologic term, namely, "left ventricular failure," which physiologists abhor. On the other hand, the physiologists adhere to a simple clinical term, "acute pulmonary edema."

It is with the above in mind, and with the realization that as clinicians it behooves us to think therapeutically as well as physiologically, that the following report is presented. It is not intended to be an extensive review of the literature but simply a review of some of the more recent findings as related to therapy.

DEFINITION  Pulmonary edema may be defined as the transudation of plasma into