Fluorocarbons as Anti-Inflammatory Agents
This invention is of special significance in the area of respiratory disorder diagnoses and treatment. It works by reducing the inflammatory response in various tissues of a patient by contacting the tissue with an effective, inflammation reducing amount of a liquid or gaseous fluorocarbon. Preferably, this tissue is either gastrointestinal or pulmonary, the cellular nature of which may be either epithelial or endothelial. However, in theory, the technique can be expanded to cover other kinds of tissues as well. Both prophylactic reductions and therapeutic reductions of inflammatory response are contemplated. The invention also provides oxygenation. The liquid fluorocarbon may be oxygenated prior to administration and further provides fluorocarbons in the form of emulsions. The patent provides an apparatus for use in delivering fluorocarbon to the lungs of a patient, comprising a container, a fluorocarbon liquid in the container, and means associated with the container for atomizing, aerosolizing, or vaporizing a unit dosage of the fluorocarbon for inhalation by a patient. The applications for this invention is mainly in the area of treatment of respiratory disorders, in that inflammations are reduced in pulmonary tracts. A major application is in adult respiratory distress syndrome. Adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a serious condition most often affecting the lungs of individuals who have undergone major surgery, trauma or infection. ARDS occurs in approximately 150,000 persons annually with a mortality rate approaching 50%. There is currently no completely effective treatment for this disorder. Infant Respiratory Distress Syndrome (IRDS) presents similar treatment difficulties. Treatment with therapeutic amounts of perfluorocarbons may resolve these difficulties.