, Volume 34, Issue 5, pp 796-799
Date: 05 Jan 2008

Ventilator-induced lung injury: another sign of aging?

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Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is, as its name implies, a syndromic clinical entity, which attempts to capture and characterize a specific type of inflammatory lung injury, reflected pathologically (at least in its early stages) by diffuse alveolar damage [1, 2]. ARDS is important because it can affect an extremely heterogeneous population and result from a wide variety of risk factors and conditions that can injure the lungs either directly or indirectly [35]. In addition, ARDS is not a rare condition. Recent rigorous measurements reveal a high incidence, and it may affect as many as 16% of mechanically ventilated patients in an intensive care setting [68]. The mortality from ARDS ranges from 30% to 60% depending on the specific patient mix and selection criteria, with most deaths resulting from multiple organ failure and sepsis [610]. Patients who do survive frequently suffer reduced health-related quality of life that can persist for years after hospital discharge [11

This editorial refers to the articles available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00134-007-0959-6 and http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00134-007-0960-0.