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Hooper M. H., Bernard G. R.
Division of Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN, USA
Acute lung injury (ALI) and the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) occur due to systemic inflammatory disorders or direct injury to the lung. The occurrence of ALI/ARDS is sporadic and is not reliably predicted by the type or severity of injury. A combination of patient characteristics and mechanism of injury are responsible for the sporadic nature of ALI/ARDS and its observed phenotypic variability. Research on the pathophysiology and genetics of ALI/ARDS continues to advance, revealing critical molecular pathways in disease development and specific genetic factors that alter the expression of disease. Despite these advances, pharmacologic therapies have yet to be developed for the prevention or treatment of disease. We anticipate that continued improvement of our understanding of the genetic and pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying ALI/ARDS combined with future clinical trials will allow pharmacogenetic therapies for ALI/ARDS to be developed.