Which lung exam findings are characteristic 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...
  • Print
Answer

Examination of the lungs may reveal bilateral rales. Rales may not be present despite widespread involvement. Because the patient is often intubated and mechanically ventilated, decreased breath sounds over 1 lung may indicate a pneumothorax or endotracheal tube down the right main bronchus.

Manifestations of the underlying cause (eg, acute abdominal findings in the case of ARDS caused by pancreatitis) are present.


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!