Gas Exchange in the Respiratory Distress Syndromes
Published Online: 1 JUL 2012
Copyright © 2012 American Physiological Society. All rights reserved.
How to Cite
Albert, R. K. and Jobe, A. 2012. Gas Exchange in the Respiratory Distress Syndromes. Comprehensive Physiology. 2:1585–1617.
- Published Online: 1 JUL 2012
This article describes the gas exchange abnormalities occurring in the acute respiratory distress syndrome seen in adults and children and in the respiratory distress syndrome that occurs in neonates. Evidence is presented indicating that the major gas exchange abnormality accounting for the hypoxemia in both conditions is shunt, and that approximately 50% of patients also have lungs regions in which low ventilation-to-perfusion ratios contribute to the venous admixture. The various mechanisms by which hypercarbia may develop and by which positive end-expiratory pressure improves gas exchange are reviewed, as are the effects of vascular tone and airway narrowing. The mechanisms by which surfactant abnormalities occur in the two conditions are described, as are the histological findings that have been associated with shunt and low ventilation-to-perfusion. © 2012 American Physiological Society. Compr Physiol 2:1585-1617, 2012.