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Expert Rev Respir Med. 2009 Jun 1;3(3):283-297.

Pathophysiology, management and treatment of smoke inhalation injury.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, The University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Boulevard, Galveston, TX 77555, USA, Tel.: +1 409 772 6405, , serehber@utmb.edu.

Abstract

Smoke inhalation injury continues to increase morbidity and mortality in burn patients in both the third world and industrialized countries. The lack of uniform criteria for the diagnosis and definition of smoke inhalation injury contributes to the fact that, despite extensive research, mortality rates have changed little in recent decades. The formation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, as well as the procoagulant and antifibrinolytic imbalance of alveolar homeostasis, all play a central role in the pathogenesis of smoke inhalation injury. Further hallmarks include massive airway obstruction owing to cast formation, bronchospasm, the increase in bronchial circulation and transvascular fluid flux. Therefore, anticoagulants, antioxidants and bronchodilators, especially when administered as an aerosol, represent the most promising treatment strategies. The purpose of this review article is to provide an overview of the pathophysiological changes, management and treatment options of smoke inhalation injury based on the current literature.

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