Purpose: To present the case of an initially unexplained complication of sudden pulmonary edema in a patient during stenting of the carotid artery in the interventional neurology suite.
Clinical features: A 46-yr-old woman (ASA III) having an intracavernous carotid artery angioplasty and stenting procedure under neurolept anesthesia developed sudden pulmonary edema on completion of an otherwise uneventful stenting procedure. The patient responded well to initial management of pulmonary edema although the cause of the edema remained unclear. On retrospective examination of data and with the evolution of clinical signs it became apparent that the patient had suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage which eventually resulted in her death.
Conclusions: Clinical signs of intracerebral events may be slow to evolve. The cause of sudden pulmonary edema in patients undergoing an interventional neuroendovascular procedure is likely to be neurogenic in origin despite the initial lack of neurological signs.