Acute pulmonary edema caused by choking in an adult patient

Ta Cheun Chien, Shih Hung Tsai, Ching Wang Hsu, Shin Chieh Chen, Shi Jye Chu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Postobstructive pulmonary edema (POPE), otherwise known as negative pressure pulmonary edema (NPPE), is a potentially life-threatening complication following acute upper airway obstruction (UAO). It can develop rapidly, without warning, in persons who are otherwise well. Although POPE was first described nearly 30 years ago, yet this perplexing syndrome is rarely reported in adult. We report an adult patient who suffered from choking with a Chinese dessert. He developed a non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema due to acute upper airway obstruction and recovered well after conservative treatment. Clinicians should be alert to continued respiratory symptoms following relief of acute airway obstruction. Preventing re-obstruction and providing adequate ventilation and oxygenation are mandatory. Such patients should be observed in ED for at least 6 hours in order to avoid a catastrophic outcome. Awareness of this condition can avoid unnecessary intervention and possible iatrogenic complications coming from treating ALI/ARDS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-112
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Internal Medicine of Taiwan
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Airway obstruction
  • Choking
  • Negative pressure pulmonary edema
  • Noncardiogenic pulmonary edema
  • Postobstructive pulmonary edema

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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