The adult respiratory distress syndrome. Cell populations and soluble mediators in the air spaces of patients at high risk

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1987 Nov;136(5):1225-31. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm/136.5.1225.


In order to better understand the modulation of polymorphonuclear neutrophil influx into the lung during the development of the adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), we evaluated bronchoalveolar lavage fluids from control subjects (n = 9), patients at high risk of developing ARDS (n = 12), and patients with ARDS (n = 11) for cellular and protein content and capacity to promote neutrophil adhesion to tissue culture plastic. Analysis of the lavage fluids from high risk patients and patients with ARDS showed an 8- to 10-fold increase in the total number of cells, an increase in the percentage of neutrophils present (control subjects = 1 +/- 0.4%, high risk = 53 +/- 8%, ARDS = 70 +/- 7%), and a 10- to 40-fold increase in protein content. The adherence of normal neutrophils to plastic surfaces after pretreatment with either concentrated lavage fluid, ultrafiltrates of BALF, or plasma samples was determined to evaluate the neutrophil adherence-promoting activity of each. Lavage fluid from high risk patients and patients with ARDS promoted an approximate 3-fold increase in neutrophil adherence when compared with control lavage fluid. Neutrophil adhesion-promoting activity of the plasma and lavage filtrates (mw less than 500 daltons) was not significantly different from that of control subjects. The adherence-promoting activity found in ARDS lavage was stable at 56 degrees C for 30 min.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / analysis*
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / cytology*
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Separation / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neutrophils / physiology*
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / metabolism
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / pathology
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Risk Factors


  • Proteins