Pulmonary oedema (PO) is a common manifestation of acute heart failure (AHF) and is associated with a high-acuity presentation and with poor in-hospital outcomes. The clinical picture of PO is dominated by signs of pulmonary congestion, and its pathogenesis has been attributed predominantly to an imbalance in Starling forces across the alveolar–capillary barrier. However, recent studies have demonstrated that PO formation and resolution is critically regulated by active endothelial and alveolar signalling. PO represents a medical emergency and treatment should be individually tailored to the urgency of the presentation and acute haemodynamic characteristics. Although, the majority of patients admitted with PO rapidly improve as result of conventional intravenous (IV) therapies, treatment of PO remains largely opinion based as there is a general lack of good evidence to guide therapy. Furthermore, none of these therapies showed simultaneous benefit for symptomatic relief, haemodynamic improvement, increased survival and end-organ protection. Future research is required to develop innovative pharmacotherapies capable of relieving congestion while simultaneously preventing end-organ damage.
Ovidiu Chioncel - MD, PhD at Institute of Emergency for Cardiovascular Diseases ‘Prof. C.C. Iliescu’, University of Medicine and Pharmacy Carol Davila, Bucuresti, Romania
Sean P Collins - MD, MSc at Department of Emergency Medicine, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, US
Andrew P Ambrosy - MD at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, US
Mihai Gheorghiade - Professor of Medicine, Associate Chief of the Division of Cardiology, Chief of the Cardiology Clinical Service, and Director of the Telemetry Unit at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Gerasimos Filippatos - MD atAthens University Hospital, Attikon, Athens, Greece