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Annu Rev Med. 1995;46:193-202.

The modern version of adult respiratory distress syndrome.

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Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) remains a highly lethal complication of autodestructive inflammation. This syndrome originally referred to a single organ failure but is now considered a component, usually the first, of the multisystem organ failure syndrome (MOFS). Cytokines, neutrophils, and endothelial adherence molecules initiate the disease process, with cell injury caused by oxidants and proteases released from inflammatory cells. ARDS, if progressive, will result in pulmonary fibrosis. Improved ventilatory support techniques have not been shown to decrease mortality. Pharmacologic manipulation of the inflammatory response is a more promising method of controlling the disease process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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