Background: No data on long-term outcomes of survivors of 2009 influenza A(H1N1) (A[H1N1])-associated ARDS are available. The objective of this study was to compare the 1-year outcomes of survivors of A(H1N1)-associated ARDS, according to use or no use of extracorporeal lung assist (ECLA), using its need as an ARDS severity surrogate.
Methods: Survivors of ARDS (12 with ECLA use vs 25 without, corresponding to 75% and 54% of the eligible patients for each group, respectively) selected from the Réseau Européen de Ventilation Artificielle (REVA) registry had previously been healthy, with only pregnancy and/or moderate obesity (BMI ≤ 35 kg/m²) as known risk factors for A(H1N1) infection. Lung function and morphology, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and psychologic impairment were evaluated.
Results: At 1 year post-ICU discharge for the ECLA and no-ECLA groups, respectively, 50% and 40% reported significant exertion dyspnea, 83% and 64% had returned to work, and 75% and 64% had decreased diffusion capacity across the blood-gas barrier, despite their near-normal and similar lung function test results. For both groups, exercise test results showed diminished but comparable exercise capacities, with similar alveolar-arterial oxygen gradients at peak exercise, and CT scans showed minor abnormal findings. HRQoL assessed by the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey was poorer for both groups than for a sex- and age-matched general population group, but without between-group differences. ECLA and no-ECLA group patients, respectively, had symptoms of anxiety (50% and 56%) and depression (28% and 28%) and were at risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (41% and 44%).
Conclusions: One year post-ICU discharge, a majority of survivors of A(H1N1)-associated ARDS had minor lung disabilities with diminished diffusion capacities across the blood-gas barrier, and most had psychologic impairment and poorer HRQoL than a sex- and age-matched general population group. ECLA and no-ECLA group patients had comparable outcomes.
Trial registry: ClinicalTrials.gov; No.: NCT01271842; URL: www.clinicaltrials.gov