Pulmonary oedema lasting six days occurred in a 68 year old man after sniffing cocaine. He also had evidence of parenteral self-administration of heroin. Pulmonary microvascular filtration pressure and permeability were normal. Delayed resolution of the pulmonary oedema may have been caused by a cocaine-induced impairment of sodium and thus fluid transport across alveolar epithelium. Recognition may be important, since lowering filtration pressure with diuretics may not hasten resolution of oedema.
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