Can lungs that are fibrotic and scared from ARDS recover? 

Question by Jayne A.: September, 2021

Can lungs that are fibrotic and scared from ARDS recover?

Doctor Response:

Doctor listening to lungs with stethoscopeYes, they can. Not all do, of course, but fibrosis on an x-ray won’t always be permanent. If you have fibrosis, it’s reasonable to get a pulmonologist and follow-up with them until it resolves or stabilizes; often that takes a year or two. Sam Brown, MD
I agree with Sam. It can look like bad fibrosis a few weeks after discharge and improve much over a few months. We used to see more persistent fibrosis in the past. I think lung-protective vent makes a difference. Roy Brower, MD
Samuel M. Brown, MD MS FASE FCCM
Associate Professor, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
and Medical Ethics and Humanities
University of Utah School of Medicine
Director, Center for Humanizing Critical Care (
Assistant Director, Critical Care Echocardiography Service
Intermountain Medical Center
Shock Trauma ICU
5121 South Cottonwood Street
Murray, Utah 84107

Roy Brower
Professor of Medicine
Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine


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By | 2021-09-23T18:02:53-05:00 September 6th, 2021|Ask The Doctor|Comments Off on Can lungs that are fibrotic and scared from ARDS recover?