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Jornal Brasileiro de Pneumologia

Print version ISSN 1806-3713

Abstract

SOEIRO, Alexandre de Matos et al. Pulmonary histopathological alterations in patients with acute respiratory failure: an autopsy study. J. bras. pneumol. [online]. 2008, vol.34, n.2, pp. 67-73. ISSN 1806-3713.

OBJECTIVE: To present the pulmonary histopathological alterations found in the autopsies of patients with acute respiratory failure (ARF) and determine whether underlying diseases and certain associated risk factors increase the incidence of these histopathological patterns. METHODS: Final autopsy reports were reviewed, and 3030 autopsies of patients > 1 year of age with an underlying disease and associated risk factors were selected. All had developed diffuse infiltrates and died of ARF-related pulmonary alterations. RESULTS: The principal pulmonary histopathological alterations resulting in immediate death were diffuse alveolar damage (DAD), pulmonary edema, lymphocytic interstitial pneumonia (LIP) and alveolar hemorrhage. The principal underlying diseases were AIDS, bronchopneumonia, sepsis, liver cirrhosis, pulmonary thromboembolism, acute myocardial infarction (AMI), cerebrovascular accident, tuberculosis, cancer, chronic kidney failure and leukemia. The principal associated risk factors were as follows: age > 50 years; arterial hypertension; congestive heart failure; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; and diabetes mellitus. These risk factors and AIDS correlated with a high risk of developing LIP; these same risk factors, if concomitant with sepsis or liver cirrhosis, correlated with a risk of developing DAD; thromboembolism and these risk factors correlated with a risk of developing alveolar hemorrhage; these risk factors and AMI correlated with a risk of developing pulmonary edema. CONCLUSION: Pulmonary findings in patients who died of ARF presented four histopathological patterns: DAD, pulmonary edema, LIP and alveolar hemorrhage. Underlying diseases and certain associated risk factors correlated positively with specific histopathological findings on autopsy.

Keywords : Respiratory insufficiency; Autopsy; Lung diseases, interstitial; Pulmonary edema; Hemorrhage.

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