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Online ISSN 1827-1596
Mazzeo A. T., Fanelli V., Mascia L.
Department of Anestesia and Intensive Care, University of Turin, San Giovanni Battista Hospital, Turin, Italy
The maintenance of brain homeostasis against multiple internal and external challenges occurring during the acute phase of acute brain injury may be influenced by critical care management, especially in its respiratory, hemodynamic and metabolic components. The occurrence of acute lung injury represents the most frequent extracranial complication after brain injury and deserves special attention in daily practice as optimal ventilatory strategy for patients with acute brain and lung injury are potentially in conflict. Protecting the lung while protecting the brain is thus a new target in the modern neurointensive care. This article discusses the essentials of brain-lung crosstalk and focuses on how mechanical ventilation may exert an active role in the process of maintaining or treatening brain homeostasis after acute brain injury, highlighting the following points: 1) the role of inflammation as common pathomechanism of both acute lung and brain injury; 2) the recognition of ventilatory induced lung injury as determinant of systemic inflammation affecting distal organs, included the brain; 3) the possible implication of protective mechanical ventilation strategy on the patient with an acute brain injury as an undiscovered area of research in both experimental and clinical settings.