Lorenzo Berra

Lorenzo Berra
Massachusetts General Hospital | MGH · Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine

MD

About

219
Publications
34,669
Reads
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3,192
Citations
Introduction
Anesthesiologist and Critical Care Physician interested in acute respiratory failure, pulmonary physiology and mechanical ventilation
Additional affiliations
July 2006 - present
Harvard Medical School
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)

Publications

Publications (219)
Article
Full-text available
Background: Rescue therapies to treat or prevent progression of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) hypoxic respiratory failure in pregnant patients are lacking. Method: To treat pregnant patients meeting criteria for severe or critical COVID-19 with high-dose (160-200 ppm) nitric oxide by mask twice daily and report on their clinical response....
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Background: Limited data exist regarding ventilation in patients with class III obesity [body mass index (BMI) > 40 kg/m2] and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The aim of the present study was to determine whether an individualized titration of mechanical ventilation according to cardiopulmonary physiology reduces the mortality in patie...
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WHAT WE ALREADY KNOW ABOUT THIS TOPIC: Obesity increases the propensity to atelectasis in acute respiratory distress syndrome, but the optimal approach to reversing this atelectasis is uncertain WHAT THIS ARTICLE TELLS US THAT IS NEW: A clinical crossover study comparing three approaches to titrate positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP; according...
Article
BACKGROUND There is an increasing interest in safely delivering high dose of inhaled nitric oxide (NO) as an antimicrobial and antiviral therapeutics for spontaneously breathing patients. A novel NO delivery system is described. METHODS We developed a gas delivery system that utilizes standard respiratory circuit connectors, a reservoir bag, and a...
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The significant mortality rate and prolonged ventilator days associated with invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) in patients with severe COVID-19 have incited a debate surrounding the use of noninvasive respiratory support (NIRS) (i.e., HFNC, CPAP, NIV) as a potential treatment strategy. Central to this debate is the role of NIRS in preventing in...
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Nitric oxide (NO) is a key molecule in the biology of human life. NO is involved in the physiology of organ viability and in the pathophysiology of organ dysfunction, respectively. In this narrative review, we aimed at elucidating the mechanisms behind the role of NO in the respiratory and cardio-cerebrovascular systems, in the presence of a health...
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Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have been used widely as an alternative to conventional cigarettes and have become particularly popular among young adults. A growing body of evidence has shown that e-cigarettes are associated with acute lung injury and adverse efects in multiple other organs. Previous studies showed that high emissions of alde...
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Introduction: In patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), the PaO2/FiO2 ratio at the time of ARDS diagnosis is weakly associated with mortality. We hypothesized that setting a PaO2/FiO2 threshold in 150 mmHg at 24 h from moderate/severe ARDS diagnosis would improve predictions of death in the intensive care unit (ICU). Methods: We...
Article
Objective: To evaluate whether the use of inhaled nitric oxide (iNO)200 improves respiratory function. Methods: This retrospective cohort study used data from pregnant patients hospitalized with severe bilateral coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia at four teaching hospitals between March 2020 and December 2021. Two cohorts were identif...
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Mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in the pathogenesis of inflammation and multi-organ dysfunction in major trauma, including burn injury. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a metabolite of the mevalonate pathway and an essential cofactor for the electron transport in the mitochondria. In addition, its reduced form (ubiquinol) functions as an antio...
Article
The administration of exogenous oxygen to support adequate gas exchange is the cornerstone of respiratory care. In the past few years, other gaseous molecules have been introduced in clinical practice to treat the wide variety of physiological derangement seen in critical care patients. Inhaled nitric oxide (NO) is used for its unique selective pul...
Article
Esophageal intubations are not an uncommon occurrence in prehospital settings, occurring as high as 17%. These "never events" are associated with significant morbidity and mortality especially when unrecognized or when there is delayed recognition. Here, we review the currently available techniques for confirming endotracheal tube intubation and th...
Article
Background Inhaled nitric oxide (iNO) is a selective pulmonary vasodilator and mild bronchodilator that has been shown to improve systemic oxygenation, but has rarely been administered in the Emergency Department (ED). In addition to its favorable pulmonary vascular effects, in-vitro studies report that NO donors can inhibit replication of viruses,...
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Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an inherited disorder of hemoglobin (Hb); approximately 300,000 babies are born worldwide with SCD each year. In SCD, fibers of polymerized sickle Hb (HbS) form in red blood cells (RBCs), which cause RBCs to develop their characteristic "sickled" shape, resulting in hemolytic anemia and numerous vascular complications i...
Article
Purpose of review: Electrical impedance tomography (EIT) is a novel, noninvasive, radiation-free, bedside imaging and monitoring tool to assess and visualize regional distribution of lung ventilation and perfusion. Although primarily a research tool, rapidly emerging data are beginning to define its clinical role, and it is poised to become a ubiq...
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The global COVID-19 pandemic has become the largest public health challenge of recent years. The incidence of COVID-19-related acute hypoxemic respiratory failure (AHRF) occurs in up to 15% of hospitalized patients. Antiviral drugs currently available to clinicians have little to no effect on mortality, length of in-hospital stay, the need for mech...
Article
Inhaled nitric oxide (iNO) acts as a selective pulmonary vasodilator and it is currently approved by the FDA for the treatment of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn. iNO has been demonstrated to effectively decrease pulmonary artery pressure and improve oxygenation, while decreasing extracorporeal life support use in hypoxic newborns...
Article
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The acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a severe form of acute hypoxemic respiratory failure caused by an insult to the alveolar-capillary membrane, resulting in a marked reduction of aerated alveoli, increased vascular permeability and subsequent interstitial and alveolar pulmonary edema, reduced lung compliance, increase of physiologica...
Article
Purpose of review: We conducted a systematic literature review to summarize the available evidence regarding the incidence, risk factors, and clinical characteristics of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) in patients undergoing mechanical ventilation because of acute respiratory distress syndrome secondary to SARS-CoV-2 infection (C-ARDS). Rec...
Article
Background: High-dose (≥ 80 ppm) inhaled nitric oxide (INO) has antimicrobial effects. We designed a trial to test the preventive effects of high-dose NO on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in health care providers working with patients with COVID-19. The study was interrupted prematurely due to the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines for health...
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Background Inhaled nitric oxide (NO) is a selective pulmonary vasodilator. In-vitro studies report that NO donors can inhibit replication of SARS-CoV-2. This multicenter study evaluated the feasibility and effects of high-dose inhaled NO in non-intubated spontaneously breathing patients with Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). Methods This is an...
Article
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Hypoxemia of the acute respiratory distress syndrome can be reduced by turning patients prone. Prone positioning (PP) is labor intensive, risks unplanned tracheal extubation, and can result in facial tissue injury. We retrospectively examined prolonged, repeated, and early versus later PP for 20 patients with COVID-19 respiratory failure. Blood gas...
Article
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Objective: To investigate whether individualized optimization of mechanical ventilation through the implementation of a lung rescue team could reduce the need for venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in patients with obesity and acute respiratory distress syndrome and decrease ICU and hospital length of stay and mortality. Design: Sing...
Article
Importance: Prone positioning improves clinical outcomes in moderate-to-severe acute respiratory distress syndrome and has been widely adopted for the treatment of patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome due to coronavirus disease 2019. Little is known about the effects of prone positioning among patients with less severe acute respirato...
Article
Nitric oxide (NO) is a biologically active molecule approved for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension in newborn patients. Commercially available NO delivery systems use pressurized cylinders as the source of NO and a sensor to control the concentrations of NO and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) delivered. Cylinder-based delivery systems are safe and wid...
Article
Purpose of review: Severe bleeding events, which require blood transfusions, are a challenge faced by many critical care physicians on a daily basis. Current transfusion guidelines generally recommend rather strict transfusion thresholds and strategies, which can appear opposing to a patient in need for urgent transfusion at first sight. Moreover,...
Article
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Background The surge of critically ill patients due to the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) overwhelmed critical care capacity in areas of northern Italy. Anesthesia machines have been used as alternatives to traditional ICU mechanical ventilators. However, the outcomes for patients with COVID-19 respiratory failure cared for with Anesthesia Mac...
Article
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Children and adolescents account for ~ 13% of total COVID-19 cases in the United States. However, little is known about the nature of the illness in children. The reopening of schools underlines the importance of understanding the epidemiology of pediatric COVID-19 infections. We sought to assess the clinical characteristics and outcomes in pediatr...
Article
Nitric Oxide (NO) is administered as gas for inhalation to induce selective pulmonary vasodilation. It is a safe therapy, with few potential risks even if administered at high concentration. Inhaled NO gas is routinely used to increase systemic oxygenation in different disease conditions. The administration of high concentrations of NO also exerts...
Article
Background Increased pleural pressure affects the mechanics of breathing of people with class III obesity (BMI > 40 kg/m²). Research Question What are the acute effects of CPAP titrated to match pleural pressure on cardiopulmonary function in spontaneously breathing patients with class III obesity? Study design and Methods We enrolled six partici...
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A cardinal feature of COVID-19 is lung inflammation and respiratory failure. In a prospective multi-country cohort of COVID-19 patients, we found that increased Notch4 expression on circulating regulatory T (Treg) cells was associated with disease severity, predicted mortality, and declined upon recovery. Deletion of Notch4 in Treg cells or therapy...
Article
Objectives: It is not known how lung injury progression during mechanical ventilation modifies pulmonary responses to prone positioning. We compared the effects of prone positioning on regional lung aeration in late versus early stages of lung injury. Design: Prospective, longitudinal imaging study. Setting: Research imaging facility at The Un...
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Background Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) secondary to coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) is characterized by substantial heterogeneity in clinical, biochemical, and physiological characteristics. However, the pathophysiology of severe COVID-19 infection is poorly understood. Previous studies established clinical and biological phenoty...
Article
Purpose of review: Obesity prevalence is increasing in most countries in the world. In the United States, 42% of the population is obese (body mass index (BMI) > 30) and 9.2% is obese class III (BMI > 40). One of the greatest challenges in critically ill patients with obesity is the optimization of mechanical ventilation. The goal of this review i...
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Background Right ventricular (RV) dysfunction is common and associated with worse outcomes in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In non-COVID-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome, RV dysfunction develops due to pulmonary hypoxic vasoconstriction, inflammation, and alveolar overdistension or atelectasis. Although similar pathogenic...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background The surge of critically ill patients due to the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) overwhelmed critical care capacity in areas of northern Italy. Anesthesia machines have been used as alternatives to traditional ICU mechanical ventilators. However, the outcomes for patients with COVID-19 respiratory failure cared for with Anesthesia Mac...
Article
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Background: Cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) is associated with a high risk of postoperative acute kidney injury (AKI). Due to limitations of current diagnostic strategies, we sought to determine whether free hemoglobin (fHb) ratio (ie, levels of fHb at the end of CPB divided by baseline fHb) could predict AKI after on-pump cardia...
Article
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Background Topical anesthesia is a crucial step in awake endotracheal intubation for providing favorable intubation conditions. The standard of care technique for awake intubation at our institution, which consists of oropharyngeal tetracaine spray, can result in inadequate mucosal anesthesia. Therefore, we sought to compare the effectiveness of dy...
Article
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Those involved in the airway management of COVID-19 patients are particularly at risk. Here, we describe a practical, stepwise protocol for safe in-hospital airway management in patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection.
Article
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Treatment options are limited for patients with respiratory failure due to coronavirus disease 2019. Conventional oxygen therapy and awake proning are options, but the use of high-flow nasal cannula and continuous positive airway pressure are controversial. There is an urgent need for effective rescue therapies. Our aim is to evaluate the role of i...
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Objective: To evaluate the race-stratified state-level prevalence of health determinants and the racial disparities in coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) cumulative incidence and mortality in the United States. Patients and methods: Age-adjusted race-stratified prevalence of comorbidities (hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, obesity), preexis...
Article
Background Despite numerous advances in the understanding of the pathophysiology, progression, and management of acute respiratory failure (ARF) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), there is limited contemporary data on the mortality burden of ARF and ARDS in the United States (US). Research Question What are the contemporary trends and...
Article
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Objectives: Patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome are at risk for developing cardiac dysfunction which is independently associated with worse outcomes. Transthoracic echocardiography is an ideal imaging modality for goal-directed assessment and optimization of cardiac function and volume status. Prone positioning, while demonstrated to...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Topical anesthesia is a crucial step in awake endotracheal intubation for providing favorable intubation conditions. The standard of care technique for awake intubation at our institution, which consists of oropharyngeal tetracaine spray, can result in inadequate mucosal anesthesia. Therefore, we sought to compare the effectiveness of d...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Topical anesthesia is a crucial step in awake endotracheal intubation for providing favorable intubation conditions. The standard of care technique for awake intubation at our institution, which consists of oropharyngeal tetracaine spray, can result in inadequate mucosal anesthesia. Therefore, we sought to compare the effectiveness of d...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Individuals with cystic fibrosis (CF) have persistent lung infections, necessitating the frequent use of antibiotics for pulmonary exacerbations. Some respiratory pathogens have intrinsic resistance to the currently available antibiotics, and any pathogen may acquire resistance over time, posing a challenge to CF care. Gaseous nitric o...
Article
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We are in a crisis where healthcare providers on the frontlines are running out of the appropriate personal protective equipment including N95 masks and power air-purifying respirators. Here, we propose a makeshift filter mask that we call the Modified Airway from VEntilatoR Circuit (MAVerIC) that can be assembled within seconds using widely availa...