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Anaesthesia. 2004 Sep;59(9):867-71.

Alveolar and plasma concentrations of interleukin-8 and vascular endothelial growth factor following oesophagectomy.

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University Department of Anaesthesia and Critical Care, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, UK.


The acute respiratory distress syndrome occurs in approximately 10% of all patients undergoing elective oesophagectomy. Local increases in lung pro-inflammatory cytokines have been previously detected in high-risk patients before the development of the acute respiratory distress syndrome. We hypothesised that similar changes would occur following oesophagectomy. Two groups of patients were studied. In the collapsed lung group (n = 11), interelukin-8 and vascular endothelial growth factor were measured in bronchoalveolar lavage samples obtained from the intra-operative collapsed lung after operation. In the ventilated lung group (n = 10), bronchoalveolar lavage was performed after operation from the ventilated lung and cytokines measured. Cytokines were also measured in peripheral blood samples before and after operation. Bronchoalveolar lavage cytokine levels in both lungs were of an order of magnitude greater than in peripheral blood. Pulmonary pro-inflammatory cytokine release occurs following oesophageal surgery and may indicate subclinical lung injury.

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