Postperfusion lung syndrome is rare but can be lethal. The underlying mechanism remains uncertain but triggering inflammatory cascades have become an accepted etiology. A better understanding of the pathophysiology and the roles of inflammatory mediators in the development of the syndrome is imperative in the determination of therapeutic options and promotion of patients' prognosis and survival. Postperfusion lung syndrome is similar to adult respiratory distress syndrome in clinical features, diagnostic approaches and management strategies. However, the etiologies and predisposing risk factors may differ between each other. The prognosis of the postperfusion lung syndrome can be poorer in comparison to acute respiratory distress syndrome due to the secondary multiple organ failure and triple acid-base imbalance. Current management strategies are focusing on attenuating inflammatory responses and preventing from pulmonary ischemia-reperfusion injury. Choices of cardiopulmonary bypass circuit and apparatus, innovative cardiopulmonary bypass techniques, modified surgical maneuvers and several pharmaceutical agents can be potential preventive strategies for acute lung injury during cardiopulmonary bypass.