Idiopathic pulmonary hemorrhage in infancy: Clinical features and management with high frequency ventilation

Michael D. Pappas, Ashok P. Sarnaik, Kathleen L. Meert, Rashed A. Hasan, Mary W. Lieh-Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Study objectives: To describe the clinical characteristics of infants with severe acute pulmonary hemorrhage and the effects of mechanical ventilation on gas exchange. Setting: Tertiary care pediatric ICU in a university hospital. Patients and design: Case records of patients with severe acute pulmonary hemorrhage from January 1992 to July 1995 were reviewed. Acute pulmonary hemorrhage was defined as hemoptysis and/or epistaxis or blood obtained from endotracheal tube which could not be attributed to cardiac or vascular malformation, infectious process, or known trauma. Interventions: Patients were initially managed with conventional ventilation. High frequency ventilation (HFV) was utilized when hypoxemia (PaO2/PAO2<0.2) and/or respiratory acidosis (PaCO2≤60 mm Hg with pH<7.25) persisted. Measurements and results: Six African-American male infants from Detroit, with a median age 2.3 months, presented with severe acute pulmonary hemorrhage. Chest radiographs showed diffuse bilateral infiltrates or opacification with a normal sized heart. All infants were managed with HFV, four by oscillation and two by jet. The indications for HFV were persistent hypoxemia (2), respiratory acidosis (1), and a combination of both (3). There was an improvement in pH and PaCO2, and a decreased need for oxygen 6 and 24 h after initiating HFV. PaO2/PaO2 and oxygenation index showed a tendency toward improvement. All infants survived, and there were no complications. No cause for pulmonary hemorrhage was found in any of the infants. Conclusions: Idiopathic acute pulmonary hemorrhage is a potentially life-threatening disorder encountered among inner-city infants. HFV is highly effective and safe in rapidly reversing the severe oxygenation and ventilation deficits in this setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-555
Number of pages3
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996


  • high frequency ventilation
  • mechanical ventilation
  • pulmonary hemorrhage, infancy


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