Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a fatal condition with insufficiently clarified etiology. Supportive care for severe hypoxemia remains the mainstay of essential interventions for ARDS. In recent years, adequate ventilation to prevent ventilator-induced lung injury (VILI) and patient self-inflicted lung injury (P-SILI) as well as lung-protective mechanical ventilation has an increasing attention in ARDS.Ventilation-perfusion mismatch may augment severe hypoxemia and inspiratory drive and consequently induce P-SILI. Respiratory drive and effort must also be carefully monitored to prevent P-SILI. Airway occlusion pressure (P0.1) and airway pressure deflection during an end-expiratory airway occlusion (Pocc) could be easy indicators to evaluate the respiratory drive and effort. Patient-ventilator dyssynchrony is a time mismatching between patient's effort and ventilator drive. Although it is frequently unrecognized, dyssynchrony can be associated with poor clinical outcomes. Dyssynchrony includes trigger asynchrony, cycling asynchrony, and flow delivery mismatch. Ventilator-induced diaphragm dysfunction (VIDD) is a form of iatrogenic injury from inadequate use of mechanical ventilation. Excessive spontaneous breathing can lead to P-SILI, while excessive rest can lead to VIDD. Optimal balance between these two manifestations is probably associated with the etiology and severity of the underlying pulmonary disease.High-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) and non-invasive positive pressure ventilation (NPPV) are non-invasive techniques for supporting hypoxemia. While they are beneficial as respiratory supports in mild ARDS, there can be a risk of delaying needed intubation. Mechanical ventilation and ECMO are applied for more severe ARDS. However, as with HFNC/NPPV, inappropriate assessment of breathing workload potentially has a risk of delaying the timing of shifting from ventilator to ECMO. Various methods of oxygen administration in ARDS are important. However, it is also important to evaluate whether they adequately reduce the breathing workload and help to improve ARDS.
Keywords: Acute respiratory failure; Complication; Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; High-flow nasal cannula; Mechanical ventilation; Non-invasive positive pressure ventilation; Prognosis.