From a recent review:
This meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials aimed to systematically evaluate the value of albuterol in the treatment of patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
Randomized controlled trials on albuterol treatment of ARDS from its inception to October 2014 were searched systematically. The databases searched included: PubMed, Ovid EMBASE, Ovid Cochrane, CNKI, WANFANG and VIP. The trials were screened according to the pre-designed inclusion and exclusion criteria. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of the randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on albuterol treatment, attempting to improve outcomes, i.e. lowering the 28-day mortality and ventilator-free days.
Three RCTs involving 646 patients met the inclusion criteria. There was no significant decrease in the 28-day mortality (risk difference=0.09; P=0.07, P for heterogeneity=0.22, I2=33%). The ventilator-free days and organ failure-free days were significantly lower in the patients who received albuterol (mean difference=–2.20; P less than 0.001, P for heterogeneity=0.49, I2=0% and mean difference=–1.71, P less than 0.001, P for heterogeneity=0.60, I2=0%).
Current evidences indicate that treatment with albuterol in the early course of ARDS was not effective in increasing the survival, but significantly decreasing the ventilator-free days and organ failure-free days. Owing to the limited number of included trails, strong recommendations cannot be made.