Pulmonary complications after acute kidney injury.

Link to article at PubMed

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Pulmonary complications after acute kidney injury.

Adv Chronic Kidney Dis. 2008 Jul;15(3):284-96

Authors: Faubel S

The development of respiratory failure in patients with AKI is a particularly devastating consequence that greatly increases patient mortality. When respiratory failure and AKI occur together, the mortality is greater than 80%. A clear understanding of the mechanisms leading to respiratory failure is of great clinical relevance to patients with AKI in order to prevent and treat this life-threatening complication. Pulmonary edema leading to respiratory failure has been a recognized complication of kidney failure since 1901. Remarkably, the pathogenesis of this complication remains elusive, despite over 100 years of clinical and experimental debate in the literature. A review of this literature suggests that there are 4 causes of pulmonary edema leading to respiratory failure in patients with AKI: (1) volume overload (cardiogenic edema), (2) left ventricular dysfunction (cardiogenic edema), (3) increased lung capillary permeability (noncardiogenic edema), and (4) acute lung injury (noncardiogenic edema with inflammation). In this review, these mechanisms are presented in historical context including the original descriptions of pathology and pathophysiology, recent epidemiologic data, and experimental studies in animals. Although volume overload is a well-accepted mechanism of pulmonary edema in patients with AKI, the purpose of this review was to highlight the evidence showing that noncardiogenic edema and acute lung injury also occur. By recognizing that the pulmonary complications of AKI are not simply from volume overload, specific treatment strategies may be discovered and used to improve outcomes in patients with the ominous and life threatening combination of AKI and respiratory failure.

PMID: 18565479 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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