A contributive result of open-lung biopsy improves survival in acute respiratory distress syndrome patients

Crit Care Med. 2007 Mar;35(3):755-62. doi: 10.1097/01.CCM.0000257325.88144.30.


Objective: The impact of a contributive result of open-lung biopsy on the outcome of patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) has not been extensively investigated. The aim of this study was therefore to determine the rate of contributive open-lung biopsy and whether it improved the prognosis of ARDS patients.

Design: Prospective study conducted during an 8-yr period.

Setting: A 14-bed medico-surgical intensive care unit and a 12-bed medical intensive care unit from the same hospital.

Patients: One hundred open-lung biopsies were performed in 100 patients presenting ARDS.

Interventions: Open-lung biopsy was performed after > or = 5 days of evolution of ARDS when there was no improvement in the respiratory status despite negative microbiological samples cultures and potential indication for corticosteroid treatment.

Measurements and main results: Ten patients presented a mechanical complication following open-lung biopsy (two pneumothoraces and eight moderate air leaks). The unique independent factor associated with this complication was the minute ventilation when open-lung biopsy was performed (odds ratio, 1.20; 95% confidence interval, 1.03-1.41; p = .02). Fibrosis was noted in 53 patients but was associated with an infection in 29 of these 53 patients (55%). A contributive result of open-lung biopsy (defined as the addition of a new drug) was noted in 78 patients. Simplified Acute Physiology Score II was the only independent predictive factor of a contributive open-lung biopsy (odds ratio, 0.96; 95% confidence interval, 0.92-0.99; p = .04). Survival was higher in patients with a contributive open-lung biopsy (67%) than in patients in whom open-lung biopsy results did not modify the treatment (14%) (p < .001). The factors predicting survival were a contributive result of open-lung biopsy, female gender, and the Organ System Failures score the day of open-lung biopsy.

Conclusions: The present study shows that open-lung biopsy provided a contributive result in 78% of ARDS patients with a negative bronchoalveolar lavage. Survival of ARDS patients improved when open-lung biopsy was contributive.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biopsy*
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / mortality
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / pathology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Lung / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / mortality
  • Pneumonia, Bacterial / pathology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / mortality
  • Pneumonia, Viral / pathology
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pulmonary Alveoli / pathology
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / mortality
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / pathology
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / etiology
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / mortality
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / pathology*