Epidemiology and outcomes of acute lung injury

Chest. 2007 Feb;131(2):554-62. doi: 10.1378/chest.06-1976.


Acute lung injury (ALI) and its presentation with more severe hypoxemia, the ARDS, is a challenging entity for clinical investigation because, like many critical illness syndromes, it lacks an accepted diagnostic test and relies on a constellation of clinical findings for diagnosis. Despite these barriers, there have been important advances in the clinical and population epidemiology of ALI. This article will review recent studies of the incidence, diagnosis, etiologic and prognostic factors, relevant disease subsets, mortality, and long-term outcomes of ALI. A detailed understanding of the epidemiology and outcomes of ALI is essential for future research on mechanisms of both the acute presentation and long-term sequelae, for designing studies to identify genetic risk factors for developing ALI, and to develop strategies to treat or prevent the morbidity encountered by survivors.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cost of Illness
  • Humans
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / complications*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / psychology