A successful ground-breaking multidisciplinary ESPNIC initiative: The definition of neonatal ARDS

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) was undefined in neonates so far, despite several neonatal respiratory disorders sharing similar biology, physiopathology and histology features with ARDS occurring in later life. Two years ago, an international, collaborative, multicentre and multidisciplinary project has been launched and called "Neonatal ARDS project". It aims to produce an ARDS consensus definition for neonates applicable from the perinatal period. The definition was created through discussions between five expert members of the European Society for Paediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care (ESPNIC); four experts of the European Society for Paediatric Research (ESPR); two independent experts from the USA and two from Australia.  From the beginning, the project wanted to be a breaking - boundaries initiative linking together expertise and knowledge of intensivists taking care of respiratory failure at the different life ages.  The project has seen several discussions both in-person and by TC, with the participation of several ESPNIC members and the support of ESPNIC association management. The project has been chaired by Daniele De Luca and Peter Rimensberger, respectively, ESPNIC Secretary and Past-President.

The first part of the neonatal ARDS project has just been published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine presenting the consensus definition of neonatal ARDS, the so called "Montreux definition". This is a big novelty which allows the diagnosis of this condition in neonates and to classify its severity, according to physiopathology-based criteria coherent with criteria for adult and pediatric ARDS but which also take into account the peculiarities of the neonatal age. With the dissemination of the Montreux definition we expect increased clinical attention to neonatal ARDS: the Montreux definition may foster neonatal ARDS research, facilitating the investigations of new therapeutic approaches. We congratulate our society members for this work and we invite you all to the session on neonatal ARDS Project at our incoming congress! Click here to read the full article.