Open lung biopsy in nonresolving ARDS frequently identifies diffuse alveolar damage regardless of the severity stage and may have implications for patient management
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The aim of the present study was to assess the rate of diffuse alveolar damage (DAD) on open lung biopsy (OLB) performed in the ICU for nonresolving ARDS.
A single-center retrospective study of patients meeting the Berlin definition criteria for ARDS who had undergone OLB for nonresolving ARDS. Patients were classified into mild, moderate and severe ARDS categories and according to the presence or absence of DAD on the OLB. The ARDS categories were assessed at baseline and at the time of the OLB. The OLBs were reviewed by two pathologists blinded to the ARDS classification. The primary endpoint was the rate of DAD according to the ARDS stage in the patients with nonresolving ARDS who had OLB. The secondary endpoint was the ability of DAD to predict ARDS among all the patients who had OLB. The same clinico-histopathological confrontation was cross validated in another ICU.
From January 1998 to August 2013, 113 patients underwent OLB for acute hypoxemic respiratory failure, 83 of whom met the inclusion criteria for ARDS. At the time the OLB was performed, 11 of these patients had mild, 56 moderate, and 16 severe ARDS, respectively. The median (1st–3rd quartiles) time to OLB was 13 (10–18) and 9 (6–14) days from the onset of respiratory symptoms and from ARDS onset, respectively, with no statistical difference between the three ARDS groups. DAD was found in 48 (58 %) patients with ARDS, 4 (36 %) in the mild, 33 (59 %) in the moderate, and 11 (69 %) in the severe stage (P = 0.23). For the 113 patients who underwent OLB, the sensitivity and specificity of DAD to the Berlin definition was 0.58 (0.46–0.69) and 0.73 (0.54–0.88), respectively. Similar results were found in the other ICU.
DAD is present in the majority of patients with nonresolving ARDs and its frequency is no different across the three ARDS stages. On this basis, the systematic use of steroids in nonresolving ARDS is not recommended.
KeywordsAcute respiratory distress syndrome Berlin definition Diagnostic accuracy Diffuse alveolar damage Disease classification Open lung biopsy
We are indebted to Sylvaine Sazio and Réjane Fievez, the medical secretaries at the Service de Réanimation Médicale et d’Assistance Respiratoire, Lyon, France, for their invaluable help in managing the patient charts for the purposes of the present study and to Prof. Alain Mercat, Angers, France, for his reappraisal of the article.
Conflicts of interest
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
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