Di Pan, Samuel Chung, Erik Nielsen, Michael S. Niederman

Aspiration Pneumonia

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

AbstractAspiration pneumonia is a lower respiratory tract infection that results from inhalation of foreign material, often gastric and oropharyngeal contents. It is important to distinguish this from a similar entity, aspiration with chemical pneumonitis, as treatment approaches may differ. An evolving understanding of the human microbiome has shed light on the pathogenesis of aspiration pneumonia, suggesting that dysbiosis, repetitive injury, and inflammatory responses play a role in its development. Risk factors for aspiration events involve a complex interplay of anatomical and physiological dysfunctions in the nervous, gastrointestinal, and pulmonary systems. Current treatment strategies have shifted away from anaerobic organisms as leading pathogens. Prevention of aspiration pneumonia primarily involves addressing oropharyngeal dysphagia, a significant risk factor for aspiration pneumonia, particularly among elderly individuals and those with cognitive and neurodegenerative disorders.

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