This article reviews the state of the art regarding biomarkers for prediction, diagnosis, and prognosis in acute lung injury. Biomarkers and the goals of biomarker research are defined. Progress along 4 general routes is examined. First, the results of wide-ranging existing protein biomarkers are reported. Second, newer biomarkers awaiting or with strong potential for validation are described. Third, progress in the fields of genomics and proteomics is reported. Finally, given the complexity and number of potential biomarkers, the results of combining clinical predictors with protein and other biomarkers to produce better prognostic and diagnostic indices are examined.
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