Medline ® Abstract for Reference 15
of 'Neurogenic pulmonary edema'
Recurrent postictal pulmonary edema: a case report and review of the literature.
Darnell JC, Jay SJ
A 37-year-old woman with a post-traumatic seizure disorder had four well-documented episodes of postictal acute pulmonary edema and respiratory failure. Subtherapeutic blood concentrations of phenytoin were documented on each admission. Each episode followed one or more grand mal seizures and was characterized by the development of diffuse nodular-appearing alveolar infiltrates, tachypnea, and severe hypoxemia that rapidly resolved with supportive therapy. There was no evidence of gastric acid aspiration, acute lung infection, or underlying heart or lung disease. To determine the frequency of postictal pulmonary edema in our institution, we reviewed the clinical records and chest roentgenograms of 45 consecutive patients who were admitted to our emergency room following a well-documented grand mal seizure. Only one patient (described in this report) had chest roentgenographic evidence of pulmonary edema. A review of the English literature revealed only 11 reported cases of postictal pulmonary edema since 1965 and a total of 42 episodes in 27 patients since 1908. There were no clearly documented cases of postical pulmonary edema following electroconvulsive therapy in 18 published reports totaling more than 38,000 subjects. Our findings suggest that while postictal pulmonary edema may occur repeatedly in the same patient, the overall frequency of this complication is low.