Practice of diagnosis and management of acute respiratory distress syndrome in mainland China: a cross-sectional study

Ling Liu, Yi Yang, Zhiwei Gao, Maoqin Li, Xinwei Mu, Xiaochun Ma, Guicheng Li, Wen Sun, Xue Wang, Qin Gu, Ruiqiang Zheng, Hongsheng Zhao, Dan Ao, Wenkui Yu, Yushan Wang, Kang Chen, Jie Yan, Jianguo Li, Guolong Cai, Yurong Wang, Hongliang Wang, Yan Kang, Arthur S. Slutsky, Songqiao Liu, Jianfen Xie, Haibo Qiu


Background: Although acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) has been recognized for more than 50 years, limited information exists about the incidence and management of ARDS in mainland China. To evaluate the potential for improvement in management of patients with ARDS, this study was designed to describe the incidence and management of ARDS in mainland China.
Methods: National prospective multicenter observational study over one month (August 31st to September 30th, 2012) of all patients who fulfilled the Berlin or American European Consensus Conference (AECC) definition of ARDS in 20 intensive care units, with data collection related to the management of ARDS, patient characteristics and outcomes.
Results: Of the 1,814 patients admitted during the enrollment period, 149 (8.2%) and 147 (8.1%) patients were diagnosed by AECC and Berlin definition, respectively. Lung protective strategy with low tidal volume (Vt) (≤8 mL/kg) and limitation of the plateau pressure (Pplat) (≤30 cmH2O) was performed in 75.2% patients. And, 36%, 21.1% and 4.1% patients with severe, moderate and mild ARDS had the driving pressure more than 14 cmH2O (P<0.05). Pplat and driving pressure increased significantly in patients with a higher degree of ARDS severity (P=0.002 and P<0.001, respectively), but Vt were comparable in the three groups (P>0.05). In severe ARDS, patient median positive end expiratory pressure (PEEP) was 10.0 (8.0–11.3) cmH2O and median FiO2 was 90%. A recruitment maneuver was performed in 35.5% of the patients, and 8.7% of patients with severe ARDS received prone position. Overall hospital mortality was 34.0%. Hospital mortality was 21.8% for mild, 31.1% for moderate, and 60.0% for patients with severe ARDS (P=0.004).
Conclusions: Despite general acceptance of low Vt and limited Pplat, high driving pressure, low PEEP and low use of adjunctive measures may still be a concern in mainland China, especially in patients with severe ARDS.
Trial Registration: NCT01666834; date of registration release: August 14th 2012.