Background Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is heterogeneous. As an indication of the heterogeneity of ARDS, there are patients whose syndrome improves rapidly (i.e., within 24 hours), others whose hypoxemia improves gradually and still others whose severe hypoxemia persists for several days. The latter group of patients with persistent severe ARDS poses challenges to clinicians. We attempted to assess the baseline characteristics and outcomes of persistent severe ARDS and to identify which variables are useful to predict it. Methods A secondary analysis of patient-level data from the ALTA, EDEN and SAILS ARDSNet clinical trials was conducted. We defined persistent severe ARDS as a partial pressure of arterial oxygen to fraction of inspired oxygen ratio (PaO2:FiO2) of equal to or less than 100 mmHg on the second study day following enrollment. Regularized logistic regression with an L1 penalty [Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO)] techniques were used to identify predictive variables of persistent severe ARDS. Results Of the 1531 individuals with ARDS alive on the second study day after enrollment, 232 (15%) had persistent severe ARDS. Of the latter, 100 (43%) individuals had mild or moderate hypoxemia at baseline. Usage of vasopressors was greater [144/232 (62%) versus 623/ 1299 (48%); p<0.001] and baseline severity of illness was higher in patients with versus without persistent severe ARDS. Mortality at 60 days [95/232 (41%) versus 233/1299 (18%); p<0.001] was higher, and ventilator-free (p<0.001), intensive care unit-free [0 (0–14) versus 19 (7–23); p<0.001] and non-pulmonary organ failure-free [3 (0–21) versus 20 (1–26); p<0.001] days were fewer in patients with versus without persistent severe ARDS. PaO2:FiO2, FiO2, hepatic failure and positive end-expiratory pressure at enrollment were useful predictive variables. Conclusions Patients with persistent severe ARDS have distinct baseline characteristics and poor prognosis. Identifying such patients at enrollment may be useful for the prognostic enrichment of trials.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)