Recovery from lung injury in survivors of acute respiratory distress syndrome: difference between pulmonary and extrapulmonary subtypes

Intensive Care Med. 2004 Oct;30(10):1960-3. doi: 10.1007/s00134-004-2374-6. Epub 2004 Jul 7.


Objective: To determine whether long-term outcome differs between acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) resulting from pulmonary (ARDSp) and extrapulmonary (ARDSexp) causes.

Design: Observational study.

Setting: Medical intensive care unit of a university hospital.

Patients: Twenty-nine ARDS patients (16 ARDSp and 13 ARDSexp) who survived over 6 months after diagnosis.

Measurements and results: The two groups did not differ according to demographic data and severity indices on admission. The duration of ICU stay (median 21 days [interquartile range, 12-43 days] vs 12 [6.5-20] days, p=0.097) tended to be longer and total ventilation time (360 [96-700] h vs 144 [42.5-216] h, p=0.045) were longer in the patients with ARDSp. The ARDSp patients showed more severe abnormalities on thin-section computed tomography (CT), including ground-glass opacity (GGO; 6 [3-16] vs 0 [0-2.5], p=0.002), reticular density (12 [8-14] vs 5 [2-9], p=0.033) and the sum of all four patterns of lesion (20 [11-27] vs 5 [2-12], p=0.006). There were no between-group differences in Spitzer's Quality of Life index and the Chronic Respiratory Questionnaire.

Conclusions: These results suggest that ARDSp would leave more severe lung sequelae than ARDSexp, but the clinical relevance of their difference is questionable.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Gas Analysis
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Quality of Life
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / classification
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / etiology*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Survival Analysis*
  • Survivors
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed