The Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) is a major cause of mortality and morbidity in critically ill patients. There are no proven effective pharmacologic therapies for the syndrome in part because the current understanding of the causes of ARDS is limited. The aims of this study are to examine the role that extracellular micro RNA play in the endothelial and epithelial dysfunction which occurs in ARDS.
Disparities in sepsis incidence and outcomes have been identified between blacks and whites. While some of these disparities can likely be attributed to socio-demographic factors including socio-economic status, education level, and access to healthcare, existing data suggests that other factors, including biological differences, may contribute to the observed disparities. The innate immune system is an integral component of the body's mechanism for fighting off infection and has been identified as a site for numerous racial heterogeneities. The RADIUS study seeks to identify both black and white patients admitted in an intensive care unit with sepsis. A single blood sample will be collected from each enrolled subject to be used for quantitative analysis of cytokine levels as well as for genotyping for a specific single nucleotide polymoprhism. These cytokines and the polymorphism are related to the innate immune system response to infection. Simultaneously, clinical and demographic information will be recorded from each enrolled subject so that cytokine levels and polymorphism presence can be correlated with clinical outcomes while controlling for socio-demographic variables.