Open Badges Review

Bench-to-bedside review: Ventilation-induced renal injury through systemic mediator release - just theory or a causal relationship?

Jan Willem Kuiper1*, Rosanna Vaschetto23, Francesco Della Corte3, Frans B Plötz4 and AB Johan Groeneveld2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pediatric Intensive Care, VUmc Medical Center, 1007 MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2 Intensive Care, VUmc Medical Center, 1007 MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands

3 Departments of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, and Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Università del Piemonte Orientale 'A Avogadro' Alessandria-Novara-Vercelli 13100, Italy

4 Department of Pediatric Intensive Care, ErasmusMC-Sophia Children's Hospital, 3000 CB Rotterdam, The Netherlands

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Critical Care 2011, 15:228  doi:10.1186/cc10282

Published: 16 August 2011


We review the current literature on the molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of acute kidney injury induced by plasma mediators released by mechanical ventilation. A comprehensive literature search in the PubMed database was performed and articles were identified that showed increased plasma levels of mediators where the increase was solely attributable to mechanical ventilation. A subsequent search revealed articles delineating the potential effects of each mediator on the kidney or kidney cells. Limited research has focused specifically on the relationship between mechanical ventilation and acute kidney injury. Only a limited number of plasma mediators has been implicated in mechanical ventilation-associated acute kidney injury. The number of mediators released during mechanical ventilation is far greater and includes pro- and anti-inflammatory mediators, but also mediators involved in coagulation, fibrinolysis, cell adhesion, apoptosis and cell growth. The potential effects of these mediators is pleiotropic and include effects on inflammation, cell recruitment, adhesion and infiltration, apoptosis and necrosis, vasoactivity, cell proliferation, coagulation and fibrinolysis, transporter regulation, lipid metabolism and cell signaling. Most research has focused on inflammatory and chemotactic mediators. There is a great disparity of knowledge of potential effects on the kidney between different mediators. From a theoretical point of view, the systemic release of several mediators induced by mechanical ventilation may play an important role in the pathophysiology of acute kidney injury. However, evidence supporting a causal relationship is lacking for the studied mediators.