Acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome after pulmonary resection.
The occurrence of acute lung injury (ALI) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) after thoracic surgery are perplexing and persistent problems. Variously described as postpneumonectomy pulmonary edema, noncardiogenic pulmonary edema, and postlung resection pulmonary edema, ALI and ARDS may be considered a single entity, with ALI being the less severe form of ARDS. It is characterized by the acute onset of hypoxemia with radiographic infiltrates consistent with pulmonary edema, without elevations in the pulmonary capillary wedge pressure. Although this syndrome does not occur frequently and is usually without identifiable cause, the mortality is high. However, the phenomenon has not been rigorously studied owing to the low incidence, with primarily retrospective case series reported. Thus, the nomenclature, risks, and pathogenesis are not well defined. Interest in this syndrome has recently been renewed as the rate of other perioperative complications has declined. ALI/ARDS is reviewed with a focus on potential etiologies and the spectrum of available interventions.
Grichnik, KP; D'Amico, TA
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