Mechanical ventilation: lessons from the ARDSNet trial

Respir Res. 2000;1(2):73-7. doi: 10.1186/rr15. Epub 2000 Aug 31.


The acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is an inflammatory disease of the lungs characterized clinically by bilateral pulmonary infiltrates, decreased pulmonary compliance and hypoxemia. Although supportive care for ARDS seems to have improved over the past few decades, few studies have shown that any treatment can decrease mortality for this deadly syndrome. In the 4 May 2000 issue of New England Journal of Medicine, the results of an NIH-sponsored trial were presented; they demonstrated that the use of a ventilatory strategy that minimizes ventilator-induced lung injury leads to a 22% decrease in mortality. The implications of this study with respect to clinical practice, further ARDS studies and clinical research in the critical care setting are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Respiration, Artificial / methods*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / mortality*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / therapy*