Background: The study of neuromuscular blocking agents (NMBAs) in the management of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) has provided conflicting results in terms of their effect on mortality.
Objectives: The main purpose of this study was to evaluate mortality in ARDS patients who underwent NMBA.
Methods: A retrospective secondary analysis of 4,200 patients with ARDS was collected from two academic medical centers, Tehran, Iran. This study was performed to assess the impact of NMBAs use in ARDS patients with different subgroups including mild and moderate-to-severe ARDS, age more and less than 65 years, having medical turnover vs. not-having, and high acute nursing care vs. moderate to low nursing care. The primary outcome was the ICU mortality
Results: In the subjects without medical turnover, the moderate dose of NMBAs significantly reduces the mortality of patients (P=0.044). In patients who need high acute nursing care, increasing the NMBAs dose significantly reduces patients' mortality (P=0.010). In addition, increasing the NMBAs doses significantly reduces ICU LOS (p <0.001). Logistic regression analysis revealed that the high dose vs. low dose of NMBAs was increased the risk of mortality among patients between 80 to 84 years old (OR: 3.142, 95% CI: 1.461-6.756, P=0.003). However, higher doses of NMBA than low doses reduce the risk of death in patients between 50 and 54 years of age (OR: 0.432, 95% CI: 0.267-0.798, P=0.006).
Conclusion: this study provides evidence that the administration of different doses of NMBAs had no effect on patients’ mortality with mild or moderate-to-severe ARDS.