Pulmonary Arterial Compliance in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome: Clinical Determinants and Association With Outcome From the Fluid and Catheter Treatment Trial Cohort*

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Abstract

Objectives:

Pulmonary vascular dysfunction is associated with adverse prognosis in patients with the acute respiratory distress syndrome; however, the prognostic impact of pulmonary arterial compliance in acute respiratory distress syndrome is not established.

Design, Setting, Patients:

We performed a retrospective analysis of 363 subjects with acute respiratory distress syndrome who had complete baseline right heart catheterization data from the Fluid and Catheter Treatment Trial to test whether pulmonary arterial compliance at baseline and over the course of treatment predicted mortality.

Main Results:

Baseline pulmonary arterial compliance (hazard ratio, 1.18 per interquartile range of 1/pulmonary arterial compliance; 95% CI, 1.02–1.37; p = 0.03) and pulmonary vascular resistance (hazard ratio, 1.28 per interquartile range; 95% CI, 1.07–1.53; p = 0.006) both modestly predicted 60-day mortality. Baseline pulmonary arterial compliance remained predictive of mortality when pulmonary vascular resistance was in the normal range (p = 0.02). Between day 0 and day 3, pulmonary arterial compliance increased in acute respiratory distress syndrome survivors and remained unchanged in nonsurvivors, whereas pulmonary vascular resistance did not change in either group. The resistance-compliance product (resistance-compliance time) increased in survivors compared with nonsurvivors, suggesting improvements in right ventricular load.

Conclusions:

Baseline measures of pulmonary arterial compliance and pulmonary vascular resistance predict mortality in acute respiratory distress syndrome, and pulmonary arterial compliance remains predictive even when pulmonary vascular resistance is normal. Pulmonary arterial compliance and right ventricular load improve over time in acute respiratory distress syndrome survivors. Future studies should assess the impact of right ventricular protective acute respiratory distress syndrome treatment on right ventricular afterload and outcome.

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