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Disruption of Diffusion: Airspace Diseases 

Disruption of Diffusion: Airspace Diseases
Disruption of Diffusion: Airspace Diseases

Nayema Khan

, and John Pawlowski

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date: 23 June 2021

Adequate gas exchange in the lungs requires a balance between three key processes: ventilation (V), the flow of gas from the environment to the alveoli; perfusion (Q), the circulation to the pulmonary capillary beds; and diffusion of the gas from the alveolar space into the alveolar capillaries. This chapter discusses the management of diseases of the air space, which include secretions, pneumonia, pulmonary edema, and hemoptysis. Collectively these conditions result in the build-up of fluid in the alveolar space and thickening of the alveolar membrane, leading to a mismatch in ventilation and perfusion (V/Q mismatch). Both anesthesia and disease states can adversely affect gas exchange and the chapter discusses strategies to maximize a patient’s pulmonary status in order to minimize perioperative pulmonary complications.

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