Background: Proportional assist ventilation (PAV) has been shown to maintain better patient-ventilator synchrony than pressure support ventilation (PSV); however, its clinical advantage regarding invasive ventilation of COPD patients has not been clarified.
Objectives: To compare the effect of PAV and PSV on respiratory parameters of hypercapnic COPD patients with acute respiratory failure (ARF).
Methods: Nine intubated hypercapnic COPD patients were placed on the PAV or PSV mode in random sequence. For each mode, four levels (L1-L4) of support were applied. At each level, blood gases, flow, tidal volume (VT), airway pressure (Paw), esophageal pressure (Pes) (n = 7), patient respiratory rate (fp), ventilator rate (fv), missing efforts (ME = fp - fv) were measured.
Results: We found increases in ME with increasing levels of PSV but not with PAV. PO2 and VT increased whereas PCO2 decreased significantly with increasing levels of PSV (p < 0.05). With PAV, PCO2 decreased and VT increased significantly only at L4 whereas PO2 increased from L1 to L4. Runaways were observed at L3 and L4 of PAV. The pressure-time product (PTP) was determined for effective and missing breaths. The mean total PTP per minute (of effective plus missing breaths) was 160 +/- 57 cm H2O/s.min in PSV and 194 +/- 60 cm H2O/s.min in PAV.
Conclusion: We conclude that in COPD patients with hypercapnic ARF, with increasing support, PSV causes the appearance of ME whereas PAV develops runaway phenomena, due to the different patient-ventilator interaction; however, these do not limit the improvement of blood gases with the application of both methods.
Copyright 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel