Mendelson syndrome or peptic pneumonia refers to acute chemical pneumonitis caused by the aspiration of stomach contents in patients under general anesthesia.
The etiologic agents is believed to be aspiration of acidic stomach contents, other compounds, e.g. bile, may also play a role.
The chemical, burn and cause occlusion of bronchi and bronchioles damaging the epithelium typically leading to lung edema (ARDS). Secondary bacterial superinfection may also develop.
This syndrome develops rapidly (2-12 hours after aspiration) and within hours the patient may become
Other signs include
- bronchospasm with need for increasing ventilation pressure
- bronchial hypersecretion
- pulmonal vasoconstriction
Usually there is minimal sputum production ref needed.
History and etymology
It is named after the American anesthesiologist Curtis L. Mendelson, who described it in 1946 2.
- 1. Parker MS, Christenson ML, Abbott GF. Teaching atlas of chest imaging. Thieme Medical Pub. (2005) ISBN:1588902307. Read it at Google Books - Find it at Amazon
- 2. MENDELSON CL. The aspiration of stomach contents into the lungs during obstetric anesthesia. Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol. 2010;52: 191-205. Pubmed citation