Introduction

Atelectasis is defined as a collapse of the alveoli with a reduction in the quantity of intrapulmonary air. The mechanisms leading to atelectasis have been particularly well studied in patients on mechanical ventilation. They are multiple and involve respiratory function or mucociliary clearance or both. Indeed, the various elements responsible for atelectasis (surgery, posture, anesthetic agents, composition of inspired gases, etc.) target these functions. Atelectasis occurring during mechanical or spontaneous ventilation remains a frequent and severe pulmonary complication.

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