Pulmonary injury in patients undergoing complex spine surgery
After A/P spine fusions, patients have evidence of an acute inflammatory pulmonary injury. Several etiologies exist for this finding, including blood and fluid infusions, direct trauma to the lung, a systemic inflammatory response, and the embolization of fat and bone-marrow debris. The presence of LLMAC in the lungs of these patients and the finding that the patient with the requirement for the longest ventilatory support also had the highest BAL LLMAC count, suggest that the embolization of fat and bone debris released from the spine during surgery may be at least partially responsible for the lung injury. Further studies on the mechanism of lung injury during this procedure are warranted.