Diffuse alveolar damage (DAD) is one of the pathological hallmarks of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). We aimed to compare pathological findings of DAD with clinical ARDS criteria. We re-evaluated 20 patients whose clinical autopsy revealed DAD. Total 11/20 patients with DAD (55%) met the 1994 American-European Consensus Conference and 7/17 (41%) met the 2012 Berlin clinical criteria. DAD showed only moderate correlation with current clinical ARDS definition. Oxygenation index (OI), seems to be the most valuable tool in predicting pulmonary damage severity, though OI is not listed in either of the previous definitions. We support the recommended use of OI by 2015 consensus conference.