What are the risks and prognosis of ARDS in sepsis/septic shock?

Updated: Oct 07, 2020
  • Author: Andre Kalil, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael R Pinsky, MD, CM, Dr(HC), FCCP, FAPS, MCCM  more...
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ARDS and ALI (now often referred to as mild ARDS, in accordance with the Berlin Definition [10] ) are major complications of sepsis and septic shock. The incidence of ARDS in septic shock ranges from 20% to 40% and is higher when a pulmonary source of infection exists. (See Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and Pediatric Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome.)

ARDS can be associated with clinical disorders causing direct lung injury, such as gastric acid aspiration, thoracic trauma, pneumonia, and near drowning; or indirect lung injury, including sepsis, acute pancreatitis, drug overdose, reperfusion injury, and severe nonthoracic trauma. Sepsis-associated ARDS carries an abysmal prognosis and carries the highest mortality.

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