Acute respiratory failure remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality in both paediatric and adult populations. The reported annual incidence in the United States may be as high as 150 000 cases, with published mortality rates generally ranging between 50% and 70% [1]. Although there is some indication that there have been improvements in outcome recently [2], the underlying pathophysiology responsible for the clinical syndrome is not precisely targeted by continuing modifications of conventional therapy. Although progress has recently been made, particularly regarding the role of the cytokines and adhesion molecules as essential components of the inflammatory cascade in acute lung injury [3], the use of nonconventional modes of supporting gas exchange is becoming increasingly popular in many centers [4]. One of the most promising alternative modes, high frequency ventilation, has been examined in a number of animal models of lung injury as well as in several human populations.


Lung Injury Acute Lung Injury Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Conventional Mechanical Ventilation Conventional Ventilation 
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© Springer-Verlag Italia 1999

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  • J. H. Arnold

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