Ventilator induced lung injury

Last revised by David Luong on 06 Feb 2022

Ventilator-induced lung injury (VILI) is a type of acute lung injury usually inflicted or aggravated by mechanical ventilation. It may occur during invasive or non-invasive ventilation.


The predominant mechanisms include:

  • alveolar overdistention (volutrauma) / regional lung overdistension
  • barotrauma:
    • lung injury caused by high transpulmonary pressures
  • atelectotrauma:
    • lung injury caused by high shear forces from cyclic opening and
      collapse of atelectatic but recruitable lung units. 
  • inflammation

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