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February 13, 2008

Refining Ventilatory Treatment for Acute Lung Injury and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Istituto di Anestesiologia e Rianimazione, Fondazione IRCCS–Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Mangiagalli, e Regina Elena di Milano, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy.

JAMA. 2008;299(6):691-693. doi:10.1001/jama.299.6.691

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is the clinical manifestation of inflammatory lung edema originating from a variety of insults. Since its first description 40 years ago,1 the mainstays of management have been institution of mechanical ventilation to ventilate the incompliant lungs, inspired oxygen for hypoxemia, and when hypoxemia is severe, the addition of positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) to increase end-expiration lung volume, which facilitates O2 gas exchange.2