Pulmonary edema associated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy

Chest. 2001 Oct;120(4):1407-9. doi: 10.1378/chest.120.4.1407.


We report three cases of pulmonary edema associated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy, including one fatality. All three patients had cardiac disease and reduced left ventricular (LV) ejection fractions (EFs). Two patients had diabetes, and one patient had severe aortic stenosis. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy may contribute to pulmonary edema by increasing LV afterload, increasing LV filling pressures, increasing oxidative myocardial stress, decreasing LV compliance by oxygen radical-mediated reduction in nitric oxide, altering cardiac output between the right and left hearts, inducing bradycardia with concomitant LV dysfunction, increasing pulmonary capillary permeability, or by causing pulmonary oxygen toxicity. We advise caution in the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in patients with heart failure or in patients with reduced cardiac EFs.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetic Foot / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperbaric Oxygenation*
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / complications
  • Pulmonary Edema / etiology*
  • Radiodermatitis / therapy*
  • Risk Factors
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / complications