MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Web of Science were searched from 1960 to August 2015. Keywords or medical subject headings (MESH) terms used included "respiratory distress syndrome, adult," "acute lung injury," "acute respiratory insufficiency," "acute hypoxemic respiratory failure," "pediatrics," and "child." Study inclusion criteria were (1) pediatric patients aged 0 days to 18 years, (2) sufficient baseline data described in the pediatric ARDS group, and (3) mortality data. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and prospective observational studies were eligible.
Data on study characteristics, patient demographics, measures of oxygenation, and mortality were extracted using a standard data extraction form. Independent authors conducted the search, applied the selection criteria, and extracted the data. Methodological quality of studies was assessed. Meta-analysis using a random-effects model was performed to obtain pooled estimates of mortality. Meta-regression was performed to analyze variables contributing to change in mortality over time. Eight RCTs and 21 observational studies (n = 2274 patients) were included. Pooled mortality rate was 24% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 19-31). There was a decrease in mortality rates over 3 epochs (≤2000, 2001-2009, and ≥2010: 40% [95% CI: 24-59], 35% [95% CI: 21-51], and 18% [95% CI: 12-26], respectively, P < .001). Observational studies reported a higher mortality rate than RCTs (27% [95% CI: 24-29] versus 16% [95% CI: 12-20], P < .001). Earlier year of publication was an independent factor associated with mortality.
Sparse and conflicting evidence exists regarding mortality risk from pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). We aimed to determine the pooled mortality in pediatric ARDS and to describe its trend over time.
Overall mortality rate in pediatric ARDS is approximately 24%. Studies conducted and published later were associated with better survival.