Objectives: To characterize different modes of pressure- or volume-controlled mechanical ventilation with respect to their short-term effects on oxygen delivery (DO2). Furthermore to investigate whether such differences are caused by differences in pulmonary gas exchange or by airway-pressure-mediated effects on the central hemodynamics.
Design: After inducing severe respiratory distress in piglets by removing surfactant, 5 ventilatory modes were randomly and sequentially applied to each animal.
Setting: Experimental laboratory of a university department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care.
Animals: 15 piglets after repeated bronchoalveolar lavage.
Interventions: Volume-controlled intermittent positive-pressure ventilation (IPPV) with either 8 or 15 cmH2O PEEP; pressure-controlled inverse ratio ventilation (IRV); pressure-controlled high-frequency positive-pressure ventilation (HFPPV) and pressure-controlled high frequency ventilation with inspiratory pulses superimposed (combined high frequency ventilation, CHFV). The prefix (L) indicates that lavage has been performed.
Measurements and results: Measurements of gas exchange, airway pressures, hemodynamics, functional residual capacity (using the SF6 method), intrathoracic fluid volumes (using a double-indicator dilution technique) and metabolism were performed during ventilatory and hemodynamic steady state. The peak inspiratory pressures (PIP) were significantly higher in the volume-controlled low frequency modes (43 cmH2O for L-IPPV-8 and L-IPPV-15) than in the pressure-controlled modes (39 cmH2O for L-IRV, 35 cmH2O for L-HFPPV and 33 cmH2O for L-CHFV, with PIP in the high-frequency modes being significantly lower than in inverse ratio ventilation). The mean airway pressure (MPAW) after lavage was highest with L-IRV (26 cmH2O). In the ventilatory modes with a PEEP > 8 cmH2O PaO2 did not differ significantly and beyond this "opening threshold" MPAW did not further improve PaO2. Central hemodynamics were depressed by increasing airway pressures. This is especially true for L-IRV in which we found the highest MPAW and at the same time the lowest stroke index (74% of IPPV).
Conclusions: In this model, as far as oxygenation is concerned, it does not matter in which specific way the airway pressures are produced. As far as oxygen transport is concerned, i.e. aiming at increasing DO2, we conclude that optimizing the circulatory status must take into account the circulatory influence of different modes of positive pressure ventilation.