Welcome
Summary

 Principal Investigators (Canada)

 Dr. Niall Ferguson 
  

 
Dr. Fran├žois Lamontagne

 
 

 Principal Investigators (USA)
 Dr. Derek C. Angus
 Dr. Marc Moss

Thanks to the CCCTG and the PETAL Network endorsing this research project.

Background and rationale

ARDS is a common complication of critical illness with a high mortality in excess of 30%. A multitude of pharmacological therapies have been tested in this setting with none showing improvements in mortality.


Neuromuscular blocking agents - perhaps the first medication to save the lives of patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)

ARDS is a common complication of critical illness with a high mortality in excess of 30%. A multitude of pharmacological therapies have been tested in this setting with none showing improvements in mortality. This changed in 2010 when a 340-patient study conducted in 20 French ICUs reported that early use of neuromuscular blockade  improved adjusted survival for patients with moderate-severe ARDS (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20843245). Thus neuromuscular blockade might be the first pharmacological therapy to reduce ARDS mortality.

Why more research?

This treatment has not been widely adopted. The French study has a number of key limitations that have led the critical care community to question its results. Moreover, neuromuscular blockade is also implicated in the development of ICU-acquired weakness, a syndrome that prolongs mechanical ventilation and impedes the recovery of overall autonomy. There is a consensus among the scientific community regarding the need for another larger clinical trial to definitively test the safety and efficacy of neuromuscular blockade in patients with ARDS.

For more information about the need for a large study

See Dr. Maureen Meade's presentation at the Critical Care Canada Forum.
http://www.criticalcarecanada.com/presentations/2011/neuromuscular_blockade_in_ards.pdf

Read more about the potential benefit of neuromuscular blockade in ARDS on Medscape.
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/803005_5

Read more about the potential adverse effects of neuromuscular blockade in ARDS on Medscape.
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/803005_4