1. Bilateral cervical vagotomy in rabbits soon leads to death, usually within 8 to 24 hours.
2. Gradually increasing dyspnea, crises with expulsion of frothy, serous or sanguineous fluid from the mouth and nose, and terminal asphyxia are the important clinical features.
3. Postmortem examination reveals severe acute pulmonary edema and congestion, variable amounts of bronchopneumonia, and evidences of aspiration of food and secretions. This picture is similar to that found in the lungs in the bulbar form of poliomyelitis.
4. These changes are brought about by a combination of factors secondary to bilateral vagotomy: laryngeal paralysis (aspiration of food, slow asphyxia); loss of the vagal innervation of the lungs.
5. Laryngeal paralysis is not an essential factor in the production of severe pulmonary edema and death following bilateral cervical vagotomy.
6. To denote the pathogenesis of this type of edema, the term neuropathic pulmonary edema is employed.