Regional distribution of gas and tissue in acute respiratory distress syndrome. II. Physiological correlations and definition of an ARDS Severity Score. CT Scan ARDS Study Group

Intensive Care Med. 2000 Aug;26(8):1046-56. doi: 10.1007/s001340051317.


Objectives: (a) To assess whether differences in lung morphology observed in patients with adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) are associated with differences in cardiorespiratory parameters, lung mechanics, and outcome. (b) To propose a new ARDS Severity Score to identify patients with a high mortality risk.

Design: Prospective study over a 53-month period.

Setting: Fourteen-bed surgical intensive care unit of a university hospital.

Patients and participants: Seventy-one consecutive patients with early ARDS.

Measurements and results: Cardiorespiratory parameters were measured using a Swan-Ganz catheter, the pressure-volume (PV) curve was measured using the gross syringe method, and fast spiral computed tomography (CT) was performed. Patients with diffuse attenuations (n = 16) differed from patients with lobar attenuations (n = 26) regarding: (a) mortality rate (75% vs. 42%, p = 0.05), (b) incidence of primary ARDS (82% vs. 50%, p = 0.03), (c) respiratory compliance (47 +/- 12 vs. 64 +/- 16 ml per cmH2O(-1) p = 0.04), and (d) lower inflexion point (8.4 +/- 2.0 vs. 4.6 +/- 2.0 cmH2O, p = 0.001). A third group of patients with patchy attenuations (n = 29) had a mortality rate of 41 %, a respiratory compliance of 56 +/- 18 ml per cmH2O(-1) and a lower inflexion point of 6.3 +/- 2.7 cmH2O. The bedside chest radiograph accurately assessed lung morphology in only 42% of the patients. In contrast to the scores based on the bedside chest radiograph, a new ARDS Severity Score based on CT lung morphology and cardiorespiratory parameters identified a subgroup of patients with a high mortality rate (> or = 60%).

Conclusions: In patients with ARDS, differences in lung morphology are associated with differences in outcome and lung mechanics. A new ARDS Severity Score based on CT lung morphology and cardiorespiratory parameters accurately identified patients with the most severe forms of ARDS and a mortality rate above 60%.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics*
  • Humans
  • Lung / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Paris / epidemiology
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / etiology
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / mortality
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Respiratory Mechanics*
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Survival Analysis
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome