Symptoms and Signs of Pulmonary Edema

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Medically Reviewed on 4/5/2019

Doctor's Notes on Pulmonary Edema

Edema is a situation that occurs when fluid from inside blood vessels seeps outside the blood vessel into the surrounding tissues. Pulmonary edema occurs when this process takes place in the lungs, resulting in fluid within the lungs. Pulmonary edema can be caused by a number of conditions that lead to a buildup of pressure in the pulmonary blood vessels. Heart failure is a common cause of pulmonary edema, but others conditions may also cause the condition.

The most common symptom associated with pulmonary edema is shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing. Other common symptoms may include fatigue, getting short of breath more rapidly than normal with usual activity rapid breathing (tachypnea), dizziness, or weakness. Other signs and symptoms can occur that are related to the underlying condition that caused the pulmonary edema.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.