Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is the main complication of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), requiring admission to the intensive care unit (ICU). Despite extensive immune profiling of COVID-19 patients, to what extent COVID-19-associated ARDS differs from other causes of ARDS remains unknown. To address this question, here, we build 3 cohorts of patients categorized in COVID-19-ARDS+, COVID-19+ARDS+, and COVID-19+ARDS-, and compare, by high-dimensional mass cytometry, their immune landscape. A cell signature associating S100A9/calprotectin-producing CD169+ monocytes, plasmablasts, and Th1 cells is found in COVID-19+ARDS+, unlike COVID-19-ARDS+ patients. Moreover, this signature is essentially shared with COVID-19+ARDS- patients, suggesting that severe COVID-19 patients, whether or not they experience ARDS, display similar immune profiles. We show an increase in CD14+HLA-DRlow and CD14lowCD16+ monocytes correlating to the occurrence of adverse events during the ICU stay. We demonstrate that COVID-19-associated ARDS displays a specific immune profile and may benefit from personalized therapy in addition to standard ARDS management.
© 2021 The Authors.