Adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a distinctive form of acute lung injury defined by a tetrad of progressive respiratory distress, hypoxemia refractory to oxygen breathing, stiff lungs, and diffuse radiographic lung consolidation. ARDS has many synonyms derived from its various etiologic factors and functional, pathological and radiologic characteristics. The medical importance of the syndrome is indicated by this fact: annually, more people develop ARDS than lung cancer (approximately 150,000). Unlike most patients with lung cancer, however, the majority of those who develop ARDS are young and previously healthy. The death rate from ARDS approaches 75 per cent when high levels of oxygen (FiO2 = 0.5) are needed to maintain gas exchange. To help maximize the salvage rate of patients with ARDS, radiologists must become active participants in a multidisciplinary team. A clear understanding of the nature of ARDS is a perequisite. It is highly likely that radiologists will need to become intimately involved in future efforts to develop effective and innovative methods of alleviating pulmonary vascular damage in ARDS.
|Number of pages
|Radiologic Clinics of North America
|Published - 1983