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Respir Care Clin N Am. 2003 Sep;9(3):283-96, vii-viii.

The pathophysiology of acute respiratory distress syndrome.

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Critical Care Support Services, University of Michigan Medical Center, F 5815 Mott Hospital, 200 E. Hospital Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48103, USA.


Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a heterogeneous process that results in diffuse alveolar damage. It is associated with a variety of causative factors that can be grouped into two general categories, those associated with direct lung injury through the airways and those associated with indirect lung injury through the blood stream. Regardless of whether injury originates within or outside the lung, a systematic inflammatory response is triggered. This article reviews some of the physiologic alterations associated with ARDS before focusing on the derangement in the cellular environment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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