Brain and/or lung injury is the most frequent cause of admission to critical care units and patients in this setting frequently develop multiple organ dysfunction with high rates of morbidity and mortality. Mechanical ventilation is commonly used in the management of these critically ill patients and the consequent inflammatory response, together with other physiological factors, is also thought to be involved in distal organ dysfunction. This peripheral imbalance is based on a multiple-pathway cross-talk between the lungs and other organs, including the brain. Interestingly, acute respiratory distress syndrome survivors frequently present some cognitive deterioration at discharge. Such neurological dysfunction might be a secondary marker of injury and the neuroanatomical substrate for downstream impairment of other organs. Brain-lung interactions have received little attention in the literature, but recent evidence suggests that both the lungs and brain are promoters of inflammation through common mediators. This review addresses the current status of evidence regarding brain-lung interactions, their pathways and current interventions in critically ill patients receiving mechanical ventilation. © 2007 BioMed Central Ltd.
|Publication status||Published - 14 Jun 2007|