Background: Acute respiratory distress syndrome is a well-recognized condition resulting in high permeability pulmonary edema associated with a high morbidity.
Objectives: To examine a 10 year experience of predisposing factors, describe the clinical course, and assess predictors of mortality in children with this syndrome.
Methods: The medical records of all admissions to the pediatric intensive care unit over a 10 year period were evaluated to identify children with ARDS1. Patients were considered to have ARDS if they met all of the following criteria: acute onset of diffuse bilateral pulmonary infiltrates of non-cardiac origin and severe hypoxemia defined by <200 partial pressure of oxygen during ³6 cm H2O positive end-expiratory pressure for a minimum of 24 hours. The medical records were reviewed for demographic, clinical, and physiologic information including PaO22 /forced expiratory O2, alveolar–arterial O2 difference, and ventilation index.
Results: We identified 39 children with the adult respiratory distress syndrome. Mean age was 7.4 years (range 50 days to 16 years) and the male:female ratio was 24:15. Predisposing insults included sepsis, pneumonias, malignancy, major trauma, shock, aspiration, near drowning, burns, and envenomation. The mortality rate was 61.5%. Predictors of death included the PaO2/FIO2, ventilation index and A-aDO23 on the second day after diagnosis. Non-survivors had significantly lower PaO2/FIO2 (116±12 vs. 175±8.3, P<0.001), and higher A-aDO2 (368±28.9 vs. 228.0±15.5, P<0.001) and ventilation index (43.3±2.9 vs. 53.1±18.0, P<0.001) than survivors.
Conclusions: Local mortality outcome for ARDS is comparable to those in tertiary referral institutions in the United States and Western Europe. The PaO2/FIO2, A-aDO2 and ventilation index are valuable for predicting outcome in ARDS by the second day of conventional therapy. The development of a local risk profile may allow early application of innovative therapies in this population.
1ARDS = acute respiratory distress syndrome
2 PaO2 = partial pressure of oxygen
3A-aDO2 = alveolar–arterial O2 difference