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  1. Virani, Ahmed MD
  2. Ma, Kiet DO
  3. Leap, Jennifer MD
  4. Dumont, Tiffany DO
  5. Hertel, Joshua MD
  6. Singh, Ashley PhDc, DNP, MSN, RN
  7. Cheema, Tariq MD


First successfully described in 1967, acute respiratory distress syndrome has since garnered much interest and debate. Extensive studies and clinical trials have been carried out in efforts to address the associated high mortality; however, it remains a significant burden on health care. Despite the heterogeneous etiologies that lead to the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome, this rapidly progressing form of respiratory failure, characterized by severe hypoxemia and nonhydrostatic pulmonary edema, has a recognizable pattern of lung injury. In this chapter, we will review the clinical manifestations, definitions, causes, and a brief overview of the pathophysiology of this complex syndrome.