Liquid ventilation: An alternative ventilation strategy for management of neonatal respiratory distress
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Perfluorochemical (PFC) liquids have great potential for biomedical use and the support of respiration. Currently, there are several commercially available PFC fluids which meet the physiochemical property requirements as well as purity specifications necessary to perform many of the discussed biomedical applications. Moreover, state-of-the-art fluorine chemistry should enable production of new PFC liquids uniquely sculptured relative to the proposed specific application (ie. vehicle for pulmonary delivery of drugs, a diluent for pulmonary lavage, a medium for respiratory gas exchange). In addition to PFC fluid requirements, there have been several techniques reported for liquid assisted ventilation. These methods include total liquid ventilation, liquid lavage, and partial liquid ventilation. The efficacy of these various techniques is under extensive investigation with respect to specific types of lung dysfunction. Liquid ventilation (LV) techniques have the potential to treat lung disease with less risk of barotrauma and provide the means for direct and uniform delivery of pulmonary agents to injured or dysfunctional sites in the lung. For LV to assume a role in clinical medicine it must be shown to be safe and effective with respect to other therapies or in combination with current therapies. Although the use of LV in animal and initial clinical studies has been impressive to date, better documentation of efficacy in human disease will be required. Further controlled multi-center clinical trials are warranted and are currently in progress.
Key wordsLiquid ventilation Perfluorochemicals Respiratory distress Neonates
extracorporal membrane oxygenation
partial liquid ventilation
total liquid ventilation