Aspiration Pneumonia and Pneumonitis

  • Paul Ellis MarikEmail author


Aspiration is defined as the misdirection of oropharyngeal or gastric contents into the larynx and the lower respiratory tract.1 An assortment of pulmonary syndromes may occur following aspiration depending on the quantity and nature of the aspirated material, the frequency of aspiration, as well as the nature of the host defense mechanisms and the host’s response to the aspirated material. The most important syndromes include aspiration pneumonitis or Mendelson’s syndrome, which is a chemical pneumonitis caused by the aspiration of gastric contents and aspiration pneumonia, an infectious process caused by the aspiration of oropharyngeal secretions colonized by pathogenic bacteria.1 While there is some overlap between these two syndromes, they are distinct clinical entities.


Acute Lung Injury Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy Gastric Content Aspiration Pneumonia Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy Tube 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care MedicineEastern Virginia Medical SchoolNorfolkUSA

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