Review Article

COVID-19-associated acute respiratory distress syndrome versus classical acute respiratory distress syndrome (a narrative review)


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the novel coronavirus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), led to the ongoing global public health crisis. Existing clinical data suggest that COVID-19 patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) have worse outcomes and increased risk of intensive care unit (ICU) admission. The rapid increase in the numbers of patients requiring ICU care may imply a sudden and major challenge for affected health care systems. In this narrative review, we aim to summarize current knowledge of pathophysiology, clinical and morphological characteristics of COVID-19-associated ARDS and ARDS caused by other factors (classical ARDS) as defined by Berlin criteria, and therefore to elucidate the differences, which can affect clinical management of COVID-19-associated ARDS. Fully understanding the characteristics of COVID-19-associated ARDS will help identify its early progression and tailor the treatment, leading to improved prognosis in severe cases and reduced mortality. The notable mechanisms of COVID-19-associated ARDS include severe pulmonary infiltration/edema and inflammation, leading to impaired alveolar homeostasis, alteration of pulmonary physiology resulting in pulmonary fibrosis, endothelial inflammation and vascular thrombosis. Despite some distinct differences between COVID-19-associated ARDS and classical ARDS as defined by Berlin criteria, general treatment principles, such as lung-protective ventilation and rehabilitation concepts should be applied whenever possible. At the same time, ventilatory settings for COVID-19-associated ARDS require to be adapted in individual cases, depending on respiratory mechanics, recruitability and presentation timing.

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IssueVol 13 No 6 (2021) QRcode
SectionReview Article(s)
SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19 pandemic; Respiratory distress syndrome; Respiratory mechanics

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Krynytska I, Marushchak M, Birchenko I, Dovgalyuk A, Tokarskyy O. COVID-19-associated acute respiratory distress syndrome versus classical acute respiratory distress syndrome (a narrative review). Iran J Microbiol. 2021;13(6):737-747.