Acute respiratory distress syndrome: epidemiology, risk factors and clinical criteria

Viktorija Sabaitytė1

1Vilnius University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Vilnius, Lithuania


Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) was described in 1967 as a respiratory function disorder, presenting with tachypnea, hypoxemia, decreased lung compliance, and chest x-ray showing diffuse infiltration on both sides.  Around 3 million people are diagnosed with this syndrome every year. This is roughly 10 percent of intensive care unit patients. There are more than 60 possible causes for ARDS, the most common are these: pneumonia, sepsis, aspiration, trauma, and blood transfusions.  ARDS usually has really unspecific clinical symptoms which can lead to a wrong diagnosis. In most clinal practices Berlin criteria is used to diagnose this syndrome. However, it is not accurate all the time, especially in hospitals where resources are limited or because of a subjective opinion when evaluating radiographic views.  Aim: The purpose of this analysis is to discuss epidemiology, risk factors and clinical criteria for ARDS. Methods: the review of literature was managed by using “PubMed” medical database, selecting publications which investigated ARDS epidemiology, risk factors and clinical criteria. Conclusion: after review of the literature, epidemiology, main risk factors and clinical criteria are presented.

Keywords: ARDS, acute respiratory distress syndrome.