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Liquid ventilation

Karen J Tietze, PharmD
Scott Manaker, MD, PhD
Section Editor
Polly E Parsons, MD
Deputy Editor
Geraldine Finlay, MD


Liquid ventilation (LV) is a technique of mechanical ventilation in which the lungs are insufflated with an oxygenated perfluorochemical liquid rather than an oxygen-containing gas mixture. The use of perfluorochemicals, rather than nitrogen, as the inert carrier of oxygen and carbon dioxide offers a number of theoretical advantages for the treatment of acute lung injury, including:

Reducing surface tension by maintaining a fluid interface with alveoli

Opening of collapsed alveoli by hydraulic pressure with a lower risk of barotrauma

Providing a reservoir in which oxygen and carbon dioxide can be exchanged with pulmonary capillary blood

Functioning as a high efficiency heat exchanger

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Jul 18, 2017.
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