Noncardiogenic pulmonary edema caused by decompression sickness: rapid resolution following hyperbaric therapy

Radiology. 1987 Apr;163(1):81-2. doi: 10.1148/radiology.163.1.3823462.


Noncardiogenic pulmonary edema is a recognized but uncommon manifestation of type 2 decompression sickness. It typically occurs within 6 hours of a dive. Because the adult respiratory distress syndrome in this setting is believed to be due to microbubbles in the pulmonary vasculature, recompression in a hyperbaric chamber has been recommended as a form of therapy. A patient developed noncardiogenic pulmonary edema following a seawater dive to 75 feet. There was complete radiologic and clinical resolution within 5 hours of hyperbaric therapy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Decompression Sickness / complications*
  • Decompression Sickness / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperbaric Oxygenation*
  • Radiography
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / diagnostic imaging
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / etiology*