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Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a life-threatening inflammatory lung condition associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Unfortunately, the current treatment for this disease is mainly supportive. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) due to their immunomodulatory properties are increasingly being studied for the treatment of ARDS and have shown promise in multiple animal studies. The therapeutic effects of MSCs are exerted in part in a paracrine manner by releasing extracellular vesicles (EVs), rather than local engraftment. MSC-derived EVs are emerging as potential alternatives to MSC therapy in ARDS. In this review, we will introduce EVs and briefly discuss current data on EVs and MSCs in ARDS. We will discuss current literature on the role of MSC-derived EVs in pathogenesis and treatment of ARDS and their potential as a treatment strategy in the future.