Diagnosis and management of inhalation injury: An updated review

Patrick F. Walker, Michelle F. Buehner*, Leslie A. Wood, Nathan L. Boyer, Ian R. Driscoll, Jonathan B. Lundy, Leopoldo C. Cancio, Kevin K. Chung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


In this article we review recent advances made in the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of inhalation injury. Historically, the diagnosis of inhalation injury has relied on nonspecific clinical exam findings and bronchoscopic evidence. The development of a grading system and the use of modalities such as chest computed tomography may allow for a more nuanced evaluation of inhalation injury and enhanced ability to prognosticate. Supportive respiratory care remains essential in managinginhalation injury. Adjuncts , lacking definitive evidence of efficacy include bronchodilators, mucolytic agents, inhaled anticoagulants, nonconventional ventilator modes, prone positioning, and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Recent research focusing on molecular mechanisms involved in inhalation injury has increased the number of potential therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number351
JournalCritical Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - 28 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


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