Lancet. 2021 Jul 1:S0140-6736(21)00439-6. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(21)00439-6. Online ahead of print.
Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is an acute respiratory illness characterised by bilateral chest radiographical opacities with severe hypoxaemia due to non-cardiogenic pulmonary oedema. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an increase in ARDS and highlighted challenges associated with this syndrome, including its unacceptably high mortality and the lack of effective pharmacotherapy. In this Seminar, we summarise current knowledge regarding ARDS epidemiology and risk factors, differential diagnosis, and evidence-based clinical management of both mechanical ventilation and supportive care, and discuss areas of controversy and ongoing research. Although the Seminar focuses on ARDS due to any cause, we also consider commonalities and distinctions of COVID-19-associated ARDS compared with ARDS from other causes.