Bench-to-bedside review: beta 2-agonists and the acute respiratory distress syndrome

Gavin Perkins, DF McAuley, Alex Richter, David Thickett, Fang Gao Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

60 Citations (Scopus)


The acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a devastating constellation of clinical, radiological and pathological signs characterized by failure of gas exchange and refractory hypoxia. Despite nearly 30 years of research, no specific pharmacological therapy has yet proven to be efficacious in manipulating the pathophysiological processes that underlie this condition. Several in vitro and in vivo animal or human studies suggest a potential role for beta2-agonists in the treatment of ARDS. These agents have been shown to reduce pulmonary neutrophil sequestration and activation, accelerate alveolar fluid clearance, enhance surfactant secretion, and modulate the inflammatory and coagulation cascades. They are also used widely in clinical practice and are well tolerated in critically ill patients. The present review examines the evidence supporting a role for beta2-agonists as a specific pharmacological intervention in patients with ARDS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-32
Number of pages8
JournalCritical care (London, England)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


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