Purpose of review: Several modalities of volume-targeted ventilation have been developed for the premature infant or were adopted from those used in older populations. The article describes these modalities, their clinical application in preterm infants and reviews the evidence for the possible beneficial effects in this population.
Recent findings: Evidence from physiologic studies indicates increased stability of tidal volume and gas exchange while requiring less ventilatory support. Randomized trials of volume-targeted ventilation indicate faster weaning and shorter duration of mechanical ventilation, but this has not resulted in better respiratory outcome.
Summary: The proposed benefits of volume-targeted ventilation on respiratory outcome have not been fully confirmed by the existing data. Some trends suggest possible benefits, but these need to be further explored. The efficacy of volume-targeted ventilation may be method dependent and may also be influenced by the magnitude of the volume targeted.