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Clin Infect Dis. 2006 Sep 15;43(6):748-56. Epub 2006 Aug 10.

Acute respiratory distress syndrome and pneumonia: a comprehensive review of clinical data.

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Helios Clinic Emil von Behring, Respiratory Diseases Clinic Heckeshorn, Berlin, Germany.


Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and pneumonia are closely correlated in the critically ill patient. Whereas ARDS is often complicated by nosocomial pneumonia, pulmonary infection is also the most frequent single cause of ARDS. The prevalence of pneumonia during the course of ARDS seems to be particularly high, but whether persons with ARDS are more susceptible to pneumonia or simply have more risk factors remains unknown because of methodological limitations. Recent research suggests that host factors have a major bearing on the development of ARDS. To date, sepsis seems to be the principal link between pneumonia and ARDS. However, prospective observational data on this supposed sequence are not available. The individual role of specific pathogens for the development of ARDS is difficult to assess, because prospective studies are missing. Respiratory viruses have received particular attention, but this review suggests that infections with coronavirus and avian influenza virus (H5N1) are associated with a high incidence of ARDS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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