Transfusion-related acute lung injury: a literature review

N A Barrett, P C A Kam
Anaesthesia 2006, 61 (8): 777-85
Transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI) is a serious and potentially fatal complication of transfusion of blood and blood components. TRALI is under-diagnosed and under-reported because of a lack of awareness. A number of models have been proposed to explain the pathogenesis of TRALI: an antibody mediated model; a two-event biologically active mediator model; and a combined model. TRALI can occur with any type of blood product and can occur with as little as one unit. Its presentation is similar to other forms of acute lung injury and management is predominantly supportive. The main strategy in combating TRALI is prevention both through manipulation of the donor pool and through clinical strategies directed at reducing transfusion of blood products including, but not limited to, evidence-based lower transfusion thresholds. This article presents a review of TRALI and addresses the definition, pathology, pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, treatment and prevention of the syndrome.

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