What is the role of neutrophils in the pathogenesis of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)?

Updated: Mar 27, 2020
  • Author: Eloise M Harman, MD; Chief Editor: Michael R Pinsky, MD, CM, Dr(HC), FCCP, FAPS, MCCM  more...
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Answer

Neutrophils are thought to play a key role in the pathogenesis of ARDS, as suggested by studies of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and lung biopsy specimens in early ARDS. Despite the apparent importance of neutrophils in this syndrome, ARDS may develop in profoundly neutropenic patients, and infusion of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) in patients with ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) does not promote its development. This and other evidence suggests that the neutrophils observed in ARDS may be reactive rather than causative.


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