Emerging therapies for the prevention of acute respiratory distress syndrome

Ther Adv Respir Dis. 2015 Aug;9(4):173-87. doi: 10.1177/1753465815585716. Epub 2015 May 22.


The development of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) carries significant risk of morbidity and mortality. To date, pharmacological therapy has been largely ineffective for patients with ARDS. We present our personal review aimed at outlining current and future directions for the pharmacological prevention of ARDS. Several available risk-stratification or prediction score strategies for identification of patients at risk of ARDS have been reported. Although not ready for clinical everyday use, they are and will be instrumental in the ongoing and future trials of pharmacoprevention of ARDS.Several systemic medications established the potential role in ARDS prevention based on the preclinical studies and observational data. Due to potential for systemic adverse effects to neutralize any pharmacological benefits of systemic therapy, inhaled medications appear particularly attractive candidates for ARDS prevention. This is because of their direct delivery to the site of proposed action (lungs), while the pulmonary epithelial surface is still functional.We postulate that overall morbidity and mortality rates from ARDS in the future will be contingent upon decreasing the overall incidence of ARDS through effective identification of those at risk and early application of proven supportive care and pharmacological interventions.

Keywords: acute respiratory distress syndrome; pharmacology; prevention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Animals
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Drug Design*
  • Humans
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / administration & dosage
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / mortality
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / prevention & control*
  • Risk Factors


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations