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A 43-year-old member asked:

What the difference between a pulmonary edema and pulmonary embolism?

4 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Depietro
Pulmonary Critical Care 35 years experience
Clot verus fluid: A pulmonary embolism is when a blood clot usually from the vein in the legs/ pelvis breaks off and lodges in the pulmonary arteries. This causes a strain on the right ventricle ( the part of the heart that pumps blood to the lung, along with several other problems. Pulmonary edema is fluid build up in the lungs, usually from heart failure but there are other causes. Symptoms can overlap.
Dr. Sue Ferranti
Internal Medicine 29 years experience
Difference...: Pulmonary edema is excess fluid in the lungs whereas pulmonary embolus is a blood clot in the pulmonary vascular system. They are very different but a pulmonary embolus is one of the many, many causes of pulmonary edema.
Dr. Benjamin Lerner
Vascular Surgery 19 years experience
Fluid vs Clot: Pulmonary edema is a swelling and fluid accumulation in the lung tissue. A pulmonary embolism is a clot that has travelled (usually) from the legs, through the blood stream, and lodged in the circulation of the lung.
Dr. Amrita Dosanjh
Pediatric Pulmonology 36 years experience
Another thought: The formation of a clot in the lung may originate in the lung as well. If there is underlying lung disease or cardiac disease, then these are risk factors potentially for the formation of an embolism.

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A 44-year-old member asked:

Is pulmonary edema and pulmonary embolism one and the same?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Roberto Rodriguez
Thoracic Surgery 22 years experience
No: Pulmonary embolus is a blood clot (in the venous system) that travels to the lungs and inhibits blood flow into the lungs. Pulmonary edema is fluid accumulation in the lung parenchyma (lung tissue), it has may causes but the most common is congestive heart failure (chf).

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Last updated Apr 27, 2019

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