What is pulmonary interstitial emphysema (PIE)?

Updated: Feb 28, 2019
  • Author: Beverly P Wood, MD, MSEd, PhD; Chief Editor: John Karani, MBBS, FRCR  more...
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Answer

Answer

Pulmonary interstitial emphysema (PIE) is an iatrogenic pulmonary condition of the premature infant with immature lungs. PIE occurs almost exclusively in association with respiratory distress syndrome and mechanical ventilation. [1]  Independent risk factors for mechanical ventilation-caused pulmonary interstitial emphysema are higher oxygen during resuscitation and a higher need for surfactant and ventilatory pressures before diagnosis. [2]

The ventilatory pressure that is used to keep the alveolar ducts open also may cause the alveolar duct to rupture (usually at the junction of the bronchiole and alveolar duct); this in turn leads to the escape of air into the pulmonary interstitium, lymphatics, and venous circulation. [3, 4, 5]


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