Abnormalities of pulmonary function occur following the adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). To determine if open lung biopsy (OLB) during ARDS predicts late pulmonary function abnormalities, we examined nine survivors of ARDS who had OLB during ARDS. Open lung biopsy was performed within two weeks of the diagnosis of ARDS, and the following were scored by a pulmonary pathologist as to extent and severity: hyaline membranes (HM), interstitial fibrosis (IF), air space organization (AO), interstitial cellularity (IC), and type 2 cell proliferation (T2C). Pulmonary function tests performed at least one year after ARDS were also used for analysis. Percent predicted Dco, TLC, DL/VA, and FVC were regressed against extent, severity, and combined scores. No significant correlation was found despite impressive histologic abnormalities. These data suggest that the severity and extent of HM, IF, AO, T2C, or IC do not correlate with lung function following ARDS.