The clinical course of acute lung injury (ALI) is a complex and variable process accompanied by severe lung dysfunction, which persists for a long period of time with variable recovery of pulmonary function. The extent and severity of the lung disease associated with ALI varies with those patients having the most severe manifestations of lung disease being grouped as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The pathological injury associated with this disease process, termed diffuse alveolar damage (DAD), has three overlapping phases (exudative, proliferative and fibrotic) which are the consequences of severe injury to the alveolar-capillary unit. There is no uniformity to the progression and length of each stage. This review explores those cellular mechanisms and derangements involved in the progression of ARDS. Those areas that demonstrate the major advances within the field are highlighted because of the diverse and vast nature of the cellular components involved in the process of ALI. We are beginning to identify those processes that contribute to the cellular derangements which are the hallmark of ALI. By expanding our understanding of those factors, we should in the future be able to construct therapeutic interventions that address the aetiology of ALI.
- Histological phases of ARDS
- Inflammatory mediators in ARDS
- Markers for development of ARDS
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine