What is the role of lymphatics in the pathophysiology of cardiogenic pulmonary edema (CPE)?

Updated: Jul 23, 2020
  • Author: Ali A Sovari, MD, FACP, FACC; Chief Editor: Gyanendra K Sharma, MD, FACC, FASE  more...
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Answer

The lymphatics play an important role in maintaining an adequate fluid balance in the lungs by removing solutes, colloid, and liquid from the interstitial space at a rate of approximately 10-20 mL/h. An acute rise in pulmonary arterial capillary pressure (ie, to >18 mm Hg) may increase filtration of fluid into the lung interstitium, but the lymphatic removal does not increase correspondingly. In contrast, in the presence of chronically elevated LA pressure, the rate of lymphatic removal can be as high as 200 mL/h, which protects the lungs from pulmonary edema.


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