Postoperative Remote Lung Injury and Its Impact on Surgical Outcome

Lin Chen; Hailin Zhao; Azeem Alam; Emma Mi; Shiori Eguchi; Shanglong Yao; Daqing Ma


BMC Anesthesiol. 2019;19(30) 

In This Article


There are more than 230 million surgical operations around the world each year.[1] Although surgery is an essential treatment pathway in many diseases, respiratory complications following surgery away from the lung, referred to as 'remote lung injury', are associated with high mortality and physical disability even 5 years post-surgery.[2,3] The cost of hospital care associated with such complications is high.[4]

Acute lung injury (ALI) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) are two common forms of lung injury after surgery. Postoperative remote lung injury affects patient outcomes directly. In this review, the mechanisms of postoperative remote lung injury and its impact on surgical outcomes and prognosis will be discussed. Transfusion is often indispensable in surgery but can have detrimental effects after surgery, including infection and lung injury. According to the Food and Drug Administration, transfusion related acute lung injury (TRALI) is a severe event especially with platelet or plasma containing transfusions among the elderly[5] which is beyond the scope of this review and will not be discussed.