Pharmacological therapies for ARDS

Hiroaki Izumida, Seitaro Fujishima

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema resulting from increased capillary permeability. Numerous pharmacologic therapies have been studied for prevention and treatment of ARDS. Although several pharmacological therapies could improve patient's respiratory function, there have been no controlled studies which clearly demonstrated the clinical benefit for ARDS-related mortality. The role of corticosteroids in ARDS remains controversial. Available evidence is against early administration of high-dose corticosteroids (methylprednisolon 120 mg·kg-1·day -1). In contrast, low-dose corticosteroid therapy (methylprednisolon 0.5-2.5 mg·kg-1·day-1)remains controversial. With regard to sivelestat sodium, a specific inhibitor of neutrophil elastase, although the effectiveness in decreasing mortality was not clarified, increases in lung oxygenation and ventilator-free days have consistently been revealed. Other probable pharmacologic therapies for ARDS include continuous infusion of cisatracurium. In conclusion, there are not established drugs for ARDS, and further studies are necessary to reveal the clinical effectiveness of the above mentioned and novel pharmacologic therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-546
Number of pages6
JournalJapanese Journal of Anesthesiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013 May 1


  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • Corticosteroids
  • Pharmacologic therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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