Recent directions in personalised acute respiratory distress syndrome medicine

Anaesth Crit Care Pain Med. 2018 Jun;37(3):251-258. doi: 10.1016/j.accpm.2017.08.006. Epub 2017 Sep 19.


Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is heterogeneous by definition and patient response varies depending on underlying biology and their severity of illness. Although ARDS subtypes have been identified with different prognoses in past studies, the concept of phenotypes or endotypes does not extend to the clinical definition of ARDS. This has possibly hampered the development of therapeutic interventions that target select biological mechanisms of ARDS. Recently, a major advance may have been achieved as it may now be possible to identify ARDS subtypes that may confer different responses to therapy. The aim of personalised medicine is to identify, select, and test therapies that are most likely to be associated with a favourable outcome in a specific patient. Several promising approaches to ARDS subtypes capable of predicting therapeutic response, and not just prognosis, are highlighted in this perspective paper. An overview is also provided of current and future directions regarding the provision of personalised ARDS medicine. The importance of delivering the right care, at the right time, to the right patient, is emphasised.

Keywords: Acute respiratory distress syndrome; Endotype; Personalized medicine; Phenotype.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Humans
  • Precision Medicine / trends*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / therapy*