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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2005 Feb 15;171(4):340-7. Epub 2004 Nov 12.

Two-year cognitive, emotional, and quality-of-life outcomes in acute respiratory distress syndrome.

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Department of Critical Care Medicine, LDS Hospital, Eighth Avenue and C Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84602.


Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) has a high mortality and is associated with significant morbidity. Prior outcome studies have focused predominant on short-term outcomes (6-12 months). We assessed longitudinal neurocognitive, emotional, and quality of life in ARDS survivors at hospital discharge, and 1 and 2 years after hospital discharge using neuropsychologic tests and emotional and quality-of-life questionnaires. Neurocognitive sequelae occurred in 73% (54 of 74) of ARDS survivors at hospital discharge, 46% (30 of 66) at 1 year, and 47% (29 of 62) at 2 years. ARDS survivors report moderate to severe depression (16% and 23%) and anxiety (24% and 23%) at 1 and 2 years, respectively. The ARDS survivors had decreased quality of life, with the physical domains improving at 1 year, with no additional change at 2 years. Role emotional, pain, and general health did not change from hospital discharge to 2 years. Mental health improved during the first year and declined at 2 years. ARDS results in significant neurocognitive and emotional morbidity and decreased quality of life that persists at least 2 years after hospital discharge. ARDS can cause significant long-term, brain-related morbidity manifest by neurocognitive impairments and decreased quality of life.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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