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Dis Model Mech. 2011 Mar;4(2):145-53. doi: 10.1242/dmm.006213.

Human models of acute lung injury.

Author information

1
Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, Adult Intensive Care Unit, London, UK.

Abstract

Acute lung injury (ALI) is a syndrome that is characterised by acute inflammation and tissue injury that affects normal gas exchange in the lungs. Hallmarks of ALI include dysfunction of the alveolar-capillary membrane resulting in increased vascular permeability, an influx of inflammatory cells into the lung and a local pro-coagulant state. Patients with ALI present with severe hypoxaemia and radiological evidence of bilateral pulmonary oedema. The syndrome has a mortality rate of approximately 35% and usually requires invasive mechanical ventilation. ALI can follow direct pulmonary insults, such as pneumonia, or occur indirectly as a result of blood-borne insults, commonly severe bacterial sepsis. Although animal models of ALI have been developed, none of them fully recapitulate the human disease. The differences between the human syndrome and the phenotype observed in animal models might, in part, explain why interventions that are successful in models have failed to translate into novel therapies. Improved animal models and the development of human in vivo and ex vivo models are therefore required. In this article, we consider the clinical features of ALI, discuss the limitations of current animal models and highlight how emerging human models of ALI might help to answer outstanding questions about this syndrome.

PMID:
21357760
PMCID:
PMC3046086
DOI:
10.1242/dmm.006213
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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