Identification of acute respiratory distress syndrome subphenotypes de novo using routine clinical data: A retrospective analysis of ARDS clinical trials

Abhijit Duggal, Rachel Kast, Emily Van Ark, Lucas Bulgarelli, Matthew T. Siuba, Jeff Osborn, Diego Ariel Rey, Fernando G. Zampieri, Alexandre Biasi Cavalcanti, Israel Maia, Denise M. Paisani, Ligia N. Laranjeira, Ary Serpa Neto, Rodrigo Octávio Deliberato

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives The acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a heterogeneous condition, and identification of subphenotypes may help in better risk stratification. Our study objective is to identify ARDS subphenotypes using new simpler methodology and readily available clinical variables. Setting This is a retrospective Cohort Study of ARDS trials. Data from the US ARDSNet trials and from the international ART trial. Participants 3763 patients from ARDSNet data sets and 1010 patients from the ART data set. Primary and secondary outcome measures The primary outcome was 60-day or 28-day mortality, depending on what was reported in the original trial. K-means cluster analysis was performed to identify subgroups. Sets of candidate variables were tested to assess their ability to produce different probabilities for mortality in each cluster. Clusters were compared with biomarker data, allowing identification of subphenotypes. Results Data from 4773 patients were analysed. Two subphenotypes (A and B) resulted in optimal separation in the final model, which included nine routinely collected clinical variables, namely heart rate, mean arterial pressure, respiratory rate, bilirubin, bicarbonate, creatinine, PaO 2, arterial pH and FiO 2. Participants in subphenotype B showed increased levels of proinflammatory markers, had consistently higher mortality, lower number of ventilator-free days at day 28 and longer duration of ventilation compared with patients in the subphenotype A. Conclusions Routinely available clinical data can successfully identify two distinct subphenotypes in adult ARDS patients. This work may facilitate implementation of precision therapy in ARDS clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere053297
Number of pages9
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • adult intensive & critical care
  • respiratory medicine (see thoracic medicine)

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