The effect of aspirin in preventing the acute respiratory distress syndrome/acute lung injury: A meta-analysis

Am J Emerg Med. 2018 Aug;36(8):1486-1491. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2018.05.017. Epub 2018 May 21.


Background: The effects of aspirin in preventing the occurrence of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)/acute lung injury (ALI) among adult patients are controversial. We aimed to further determine the effectiveness of aspirin in reducing the rate of ARDS/ALI.

Methods: The Pubmed, Embase, Medline,, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) as well as the Information Sciences Institute (ISI) Web of Science were searched for all controlled studies that research the role of aspirin in adult patients who have the risk of ARDS/ALI. The outcomes were the ARDS/ALI rate and the mortality. Cochrane systematic review software, Review Manager (RevMan), the R software for statistical computing version 3.2.0, and the metafor package were used to test the hypothesis by Mann-Whitney U test. The heterogeneity test and sensitivity analyses were conducted, and random-effects or fixed-effects model was applied to calculate odds ratio (OR) and mean difference (MD) for dichotomous and continuous data, respectively.

Results: Six trials involving 6562 patients were pooled in our final study. No significant heterogeneity was found in outcome measures. Aspirin could reduce the rate of ARDS/ALI (OR 0.71, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.58-0.86) but not the mortality (OR 0.87, 95% CI 0.71-1.07).

Conclusions: In patients with risk of ARDS/ALI, aspirin could provide protective effect on the rate of ARDS/ALI, but it could not reduce the mortality.

Keywords: Acute lung injury; Acute respiratory distress syndrome; Aspirin; Meta-analysis; Mortality.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Lung Injury / mortality
  • Acute Lung Injury / prevention & control*
  • Aspirin / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / mortality
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / prevention & control*


  • Aspirin