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Atelectasis

Keshav Kukreja, MD, Adrian DaSilva-DeAbreu, MD and Raymundo A. Quintana, MD Reviewed 06/2019
 


BASICS

DESCRIPTION

  • Atelectasis is defined as the incomplete expansion of lung tissue due to collapse or closure. The loss of lung volume and function leads to impaired airway mucus clearance.

  • Broadly ca...

DIAGNOSIS

HISTORY

  • Frequently asymptomatic

  • Tachypnea and sudden-onset dyspnea

  • Nonproductive cough

  • Pleuritic pain on affected side

  • History of smoking, COPD, pulmonary insufficiency, exposure to radiation, as...

TREATMENT

GENERAL MEASURES

  • Identify and treat the underlying etiology.

  • PEEP for prevention following surgery or general anesthesia (3)[C]

  • Lay on unaffected side, encourage frequent coughing, deep breathi...

ONGOING CARE

FOLLOW-UP RECOMMENDATIONS

Patient Monitoring

  • Frequency/adequacy of monitoring will vary by underlying cause and concurrent comorbidities.

  • For uncomplicated cases of atelectasis associated (i...

REFERENCES

1
Restrepo RD, Braverman J. Current challenges in the recognition, prevention and treatment of perioperative pulmonary atelectasis. Expert Rev Respir Med.  2015;9(1):97–107. [View Abstr...

ADDITIONAL READING

  • Brower RG. Consequences of bed rest. Crit Care Med.  2009;37(Suppl 10):S422–S428. [View Abstract on OvidMedline]

  • Guimarães MM, El Dib R, Smith AF, et al. Incentive spirometry fo...

CODES

ICD10

J98.11 Atelectasis 

ICD9

518.0 Pulmonary collapse 

SNOMED

  • 46621007 Atelectasis (disorder)

  • 58525007 Obstructive atelectasis

  • 196143003 postoperative atelectasis (disorder)

  • 16537000 compression atele...

CLINICAL PEARLS

  • Low serum albumin (<3.5 g/L) is a strong predictor of postoperative pulmonary complications, including atelectasis.

  • Anesthesia-induced atelectasis occurs in almost all anesthetized p...

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