Thoracic anaesthesiaAtelectasis in the perioperative patientDuggan, Michellea; Kavanagh, Brian PbAuthor Information aDepartment of Anesthesia, Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, Co. Mayo, Ireland bDepartments of Anesthesia and Critical Care Medicine, Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada Correspondence to Dr Brian P. Kavanagh, MB, FRCPC, Department of Critical Care Medicine, Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1X8, Canada Tel: +1 416 813 6860; fax: +1 416 813 5315; e-mail: email@example.com Current Opinion in Anaesthesiology: February 2007 - Volume 20 - Issue 1 - p 37-42 doi: 10.1097/ACO.0b013e328011d7e5 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review To report the impact of atelectasis on perioperative outcomes. Atelectasis occurs in the dependent parts of the lungs of most patients who are anesthetized. Development of atelectasis is associated with decreased lung compliance, impairment of oxygenation, increased pulmonary vascular resistance and development of lung injury. Here, we examine the etiology, contributing factors, consequences, diagnosis and treatment of atelectasis. Recent findings Atelectasis describes the state of absent air in alveoli attributable to collapse, but recent findings suggest that alveoli are filled with foam and fluid. It is now known that atelectasis plays an important role beyond abnormal gas exchange and that prevention or reversal of atelectasis in some populations of postoperative patients may improve outcome. Summary Atelectasis in the presence of preexisting lung disease or limited cardiopulmonary reserve may have significant consequences. Increasing understanding of the underlying nature of atelectasis and its contribution to acute lung injury will improve our approach to the prevention and management of atelectasis. © 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.