VOL. 3, No. 3/4, October 2006

M. A. Flierl, et al. [2006] Med Hypotheses Res 3: 727-738.

Acute Lung Injury: A Challenging Transfer from Bench
to Bedside

Michael A. Flierl, Daniel Rittirsch, Laszlo M. Hoesel, Hongwei Gao,
Firas S. Zetoune, Markus S. Huber-Lang and Peter A. Ward*

Department of Pathology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI 48109,
USA (M.A.F., D.R., L.M.H., H.G., F.S.Z., P.A.W.), and Department of Traumatology, Hand,
Plastic, and Reconstructive Surgery, University Hospital Ulm, Ulm, Germany (M.S.H-L.)

Abstract. Acute lung injury (ALI) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) still
remain leading causes of death in critically ill patients. Although invaluable insights into the
pathophysiology of ALI and the inflammatory process itself have been gained through the
use of various animal models during the last decades, bridging the chasm between the bench
and the bed is a great challenge, owing to the complexity and variety of clinical conditions
associated with these syndromes. Despite promising experimental strategies, therapeutic
interventions have been to date largely unsuccessful. Therefore, clinical management of
ALI/ARDS patients continues to be a major challenge. In this review, we seek to evaluate the
pathophysiology of three commonly used animal models that are employed to mimic
ALI/ARDS and analyze the role of the complement system in these models. Moreover, we
briefly discuss the problems in the transfer of experimental laboratory data to the clinical

*Address all correspondence to: Dr. Peter A. Ward, Department of Pathology, The
University of Michigan Medical School, 1301 Catherine Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109.
Phone: 734-763-6384.  FAX: 734-763-4782.

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