Aspiration-induced lung injury.
Crit Care Med. 2011 Jan 21;
Authors: Raghavendran K, Nemzek J, Napolitano LM, Knight PR
OBJECTIVE:: Aspiration of oropharyngeal or gastric contents into the lower respiratory tract is a common event in critically ill patients and can lead to pneumonia or pneumonitis. Aspiration pneumonia is the leading cause of pneumonia in the intensive care unit and is one of the leading risk factors for acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndromes. Despite its frequency, it remains largely a disease of exclusion characterized by ill-defined infiltrates on the chest radiograph and hypoxia. An accurate ability to diagnose aspiration is paramount because different modalities of therapy, if applied early and selectively, could change the course of the disease. This article reviews definitions, diagnosis, epidemiology, pathophysiology, including animal models of aspiration-induced lung injury, and evidence-based clinical management. Additionally, a review of current and potential biomarkers that have been tested clinically in humans is provided. DATA SOURCES:: Data were obtained from a PubMed search of the medical literature. PubMed "related articles" search strategies were used. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS:: Aspiration in the intensive care unit is a clinically relevant problem requiring expertise and awareness. A definitive diagnosis of aspiration pneumonitis or pneumonia is challenging to make. Advances in specific biomarker profiles and prediction models may enhance the diagnosis and prognosis of clinical aspiration syndromes. Evidence-based management is supportive, including mechanical ventilation, bronchoscopy for particulate aspiration, consideration of empiric antibiotics for pneumonia treatment, and lower respiratory tract sampling to define pathogenic bacteria that are causative.
PMID: 21263315 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]