NCPE secondary to electrocution is a neurogenic pulmonary edema, which is defined as acute respiratory distress triggered by a severe event that causes acute injury to the CNS. Neurogenic pulmonary edema is considered a form of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and has its own pathophysiology as compared with other forms of acute respiratory distress syndrome.6,7 Other possible causes of neurogenic pulmonary edema include spinal cord injury, subarachnoid hemorrhage, traumatic brain injury, prolonged seizures (eg, clusters, status), and meningitis.6,8,9
NCPE can be present in several forms, including ARDS/acute lung injury (ALI), postobstructive pulmonary edema (POPE), re-expansion pulmonary edema (REPE), and neurogenic pulmonary edema. ALI and ARDS are considered the most serious manifestations of NCPE. ARDS is defined as acute-onset (<72 hours) dyspnea with pulmonary edema in the presence of a normal left heart (ie, noncardiogenic in origin), bilateral distribution on radiographs or CT, high-protein fluid in the airways, or known risk factors.1 ARDS/ALI is considered an increased permeability edema caused by injury to the pulmonary microvascular endothelial barrier and/or to the alveolar epithelium.1,10 Inflammation in the pulmonary capillaries can allow high-protein fluid to leak into air spaces.