Characterisation and outcomes of ARDS secondary to pneumonia in patients with and without SARS-CoV-2: a single-centre experience.

Mahida, Rahul Y, Chotalia, Minesh, Alderman, Joseph E, Patel, Chhaya, Hayden, Amber, Desai, Ruchi, Beesley, Emily, Crowley, Louise E, Soltan, Marina, Bangash, Mansoor N, Parekh, Dhruv, Patel, Jaimin and Thickett, David R (2020) Characterisation and outcomes of ARDS secondary to pneumonia in patients with and without SARS-CoV-2: a single-centre experience. BMJ open respiratory research, 7 (1). ISSN 2052-4439.


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Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is the major cause of mortality in patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia. It appears that development of 'cytokine storm' in patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia precipitates progression to ARDS. However, severity scores on admission do not predict severity or mortality in patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia. Our objective was to determine whether patients with SARS-CoV-2 ARDS are clinically distinct, therefore requiring alternative management strategies, compared with other patients with ARDS. We report a single-centre retrospective study comparing the characteristics and outcomes of patients with ARDS with and without SARS-CoV-2.


Two intensive care unit (ICU) cohorts of patients at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham were analysed: SARS-CoV-2 patients admitted between 11 March and 21 April 2020 and all patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) from bacterial or viral infection who developed ARDS between 1 January 2017 and 1 November 2019. All data were routinely collected on the hospital's electronic patient records.


A greater proportion of SARS-CoV-2 patients were from an Asian ethnic group (p=0.002). SARS-CoV-2 patients had lower circulating leucocytes, neutrophils and monocytes (p<0.0001), but higher CRP (p=0.016) on ICU admission. SARS-CoV-2 patients required a longer duration of mechanical ventilation (p=0.01), but had lower vasopressor requirements (p=0.016).


The clinical syndromes and respiratory mechanics of SARS-CoV-2 and CAP-ARDS are broadly similar. However, SARS-CoV-2 patients initially have a lower requirement for vasopressor support, fewer circulating leukocytes and require prolonged ventilation support. Further studies are required to determine whether the dysregulated inflammation observed in SARS-CoV-2 ARDS may contribute to the increased duration of respiratory failure.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WF Respiratory system. Respiratory medicine
Divisions: Planned IP Care > Respiratory Medicine
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Mr Philip O'Reilly
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2020 14:07
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2020 14:07

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