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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2008 October;63(5):363-72

language: English

Artificial lung: current perspectives

Go T. 1, Macchiarini P. 1-3

1 Department of General Thoracic Surgery Hospital Clinic University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
2 Fundació Clínic, Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS) University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
3 CIBER Enfermedades Respiratorias University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain


While the number of the patients suffering from end-stage pulmonary disease has been increasing, the most common treatment for this entity remains mechanical ventilation that entails the risks of lung damage by itself. Although the lung protective strategy for the prevention of further damage to the lung tissue has been elucided and performed, mechanical ventilation alone as the management tactic coping with the patients of acute respiratory distress syndrome, chronic respiratory failure and lung transplantations has been a frustrated scenario. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation or extracorporeal lung assist have been applied to these patients with occasional success, but it always accompanies difficulties such as multiple blood transfusion, labor intensity, technically complexity and tendency to infection. In contrast to advances in the development of cardiac or renal support systems for adults, the development of extra-, para- and intracorporeal mechanical systems for acute or chronic lung respiratory failure has logged far behind. It has been mostly due to the lack of the capable technologies. Entering 21st century with advent of new technology especially invention of the low resistance oxygenator, the developments of artificial lungs have entered the new stage. In this report current status of the artificial lungs will be reviewed.

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