Numerous studies have reported varying degrees of apparent pulmonary dysfunction when iv fat emulsions (IVFE) are given. These changes have generally not been of sufficient magnitude to carry clinical significance. The lung dysfunction observed has been attributed to an associated hyperlipemia. Recent studies, however, suggest that the associated impairment in lung function is due to alterations in pulmonary vascular tone (which results in ventilation/perfusion inequalities) caused by an IVFE-related increase in prostaglandin (PG) production. The polyunsaturated fatty acids in the IVFE serve as precursors to the PGs. Due to the varied effects of PGs on inflammation and pulmonary vasomotor tone, infusion of IVFE could have profound physiologic and pharmacologic actions aside from the provision of lipid calories. In some circumstances, IVFE may, in fact, be beneficial to the lung via alterations in PG synthesis and surfactant production.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine