Acute respiratory failure in pregnancy. An analysis of 19 cases.
Karetzky M. Ramirez M.
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, New Jersey School of Medicine, UMDNJ, USA.
We studied 19 peripartum patients with acute respiratory failure associated with pregnancy. Although it is an uncommon event, noncardiogenic pulmonary edema is the most common cause of respiratory failure in the peripartum period. This acute lung injury syndrome was observed to be associated with a variety of complications of pregnancy including premature labor, the use of tocolytics, infection, hypertension, leukoagglutinin reactions, aspiration, abruptio placentae, and amniotic fluid embolism. From 1989 through 1992 there were 10,852 deliveries and 19 patients with noncardiogenic pulmonary edema at our institution. Analyzing these cases has led us to favor the hypothesis that the respiratory failure associated with the various complications of pregnancy primarily represents the fatal and nonfatal cases of amniotic fluid embolism that Steiner and Lushbaugh initially believed undoubtedly to exist. Moreover, we suggest, as have others, that the nonspecific symptom complex of inflammation, coagulopathy, and cardiopulmonary failure represents the release of soluble mediators into the maternal circulation. It is not clear what the predominant mediator is, but we have focused on platelet activating factor. It is also not established whether the mediator(s) is of amniotic fluid origin or a result of maternal anaphylactoid-type of response to a fetal or amnioplacental antigen. In conclusion, monitoring maternal oxygenation either directly or indirectly by oximetry should be considered routinely in the peripartum period, especially in complicated pregnancies, to detect at an early stage "asymptomatic" or preclinical cases of noncardiogenic pulmonary edema, in hopes of then modifying management to prevent their progression.
D-lactic acidosis. A review of clinical presentation, biochemical features, and pathophysiologic mechanisms.
Uribarri J. Oh MS. Carroll HJ.
Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, New York 10029, USA.
This report describes a case of d-lactic acidosis observed by the authors and then reviews all case reports of d-lactic acidosis in the literature in order to define its clinical and biochemical features and pathogenetic mechanisms. The report also reviews the literature on metabolism of d-lactic acid in humans. The clinical presentation of d-lactic acidosis is characterized by episodes of encephalopathy and metabolic acidosis. The diagnosis should be considered in a patient who presents with metabolic acidosis and high serum anion gap, normal lactate level, negative Acetest, short bowel syndrome or other forms of malabsorption, and characteristic neurologic findings. Development of the syndrome requires the following conditions 1) carbohydrate malabsorption with increased delivery of nutrients to the colon, 2) colonic bacterial flora of a type that produces d-lactic acid, 3) ingestion of large amounts of carbohydrate, 4) diminished colonic motility, allowing time for nutrients in the colon to undergo bacterial fermentation, and 5) impaired d-lactate metabolism. In contrast to the initial assumption that d-lactic acid is not metabolized by humans, analysis of published data shows a substantial rate of metabolism of d-lactate by normal humans. Estimates based on these data suggest that impaired metabolism of d-lactate is almost a prerequisite for the development of the syndrome.