Introduction: Acute lung injury (ALI)/acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is characterized by features other than increased pulmonary vascular permeability. Pulmonary vascular permeability combined with increased extravascular lung water content has been considered a quantitative diagnostic criterion of ALI/ARDS. This prospective, multi-institutional, observational study aimed to clarify the clinical pathophysiological features of ALI/ARDS and establish its quantitative diagnostic criteria.Methods: The extravascular lung water index (EVLWI) and the pulmonary vascular permeability index (PVPI) were measured using the transpulmonary thermodilution method in 266 patients with PaO2/FiO2 ratio ≤ 300 mmHg and bilateral infiltration on chest radiography, in 23 ICUs of academic tertiary referral hospitals. Pulmonary edema was defined as EVLWI ≥ 10 ml/kg. Three experts retrospectively determined the pathophysiological features of respiratory insufficiency by considering the patients' history, clinical presentation, chest computed tomography and radiography, echocardiography, EVLWI and brain natriuretic peptide level, and the time course of all preceding findings under systemic and respiratory therapy.Results: Patients were divided into the following three categories on the basis of the pathophysiological diagnostic differentiation of respiratory insufficiency: ALI/ARDS, cardiogenic edema, and pleural effusion with atelectasis, which were noted in 207 patients, 26 patients, and 33 patients, respectively. EVLWI was greater in ALI/ARDS and cardiogenic edema patients than in patients with pleural effusion with atelectasis (18.5 ± 6.8, 14.4 ± 4.0, and 8.3 ± 2.1, respectively; P < 0.01). PVPI was higher in ALI/ARDS patients than in cardiogenic edema or pleural effusion with atelectasis patients (3.2 ± 1.4, 2.0 ± 0.8, and 1.6 ± 0.5; P < 0.01). In ALI/ARDS patients, EVLWI increased with increasing pulmonary vascular permeability (r = 0.729, P < 0.01) and was weakly correlated with intrathoracic blood volume (r = 0.236, P < 0.01). EVLWI was weakly correlated with the PaO2/FiO2 ratio in the ALI/ARDS and cardiogenic edema patients. A PVPI value of 2.6 to 2.85 provided a definitive diagnosis of ALI/ARDS (specificity, 0.90 to 0.95), and a value < 1.7 ruled out an ALI/ARDS diagnosis (specificity, 0.95).Conclusion: PVPI may be a useful quantitative diagnostic tool for ARDS in patients with hypoxemic respiratory failure and radiographic infiltrates.Trial registration: UMIN-CTR ID UMIN000003627.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine