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Comparative Study
. 1989 Apr;95(4):871-5.
doi: 10.1378/chest.95.4.871.

Hepatic Dysfunction in the Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Comparative Study

Hepatic Dysfunction in the Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome

D B Schwartz et al. Chest. .


Multiple organ system failure is a major cause of mortality in the adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). We serially evaluated parameters of multiple organ function in 24 patients during the first week after the diagnosis of ARDS and related them to outcome. The adult respiratory distress syndrome was associated with sepsis (n = 16), postoperation (n = 7), and trauma (n = 1). Fourteen of the 24 patients (58 percent) died. Although there were no significant differences in the indices of pulmonary or renal dysfunction between survivors and nonsurvivors, evidence of hepatic dysfunction was different in the two groups. On the day we identified ARDS, serum bilirubin was 1.2 mg/dl +/- 0.9 mg/dl in patients who survived, and was 2.3 mg/dl +/- 2.8 mg/dl (chi +/- SD) in those who died. Initial serum glutamic oxalacetic transaminase (SGOT) and alkaline phosphatase levels were lower in survivors than in those who died (71 +/- 44 IU/L vs 399 +/- 807 IU/L, and 121 +/- 53 IU/L vs 269 +/- 243 IU/L, respectively). These abnormalities persisted during the first week of respiratory failure, with significant differences in serum bilirubin and alkaline phosphatase between survivors and nonsurvivors (p less than 0.01). The degree of pulmonary and renal dysfunction was similar in both groups. These data suggest that liver function may be a major determinant of survival in patients with the adult respiratory distress syndrome.

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