Background: Adaptive support ventilation (ASV) allows the clinician to set a maximum plateau pressure (PP) and automatically adjusts tidal volume to keep PP below the set maximum.
Methods: ASV was compared to a fixed tidal volume of 6 ml/kg. ASV determined the respiratory rate and tidal volume based on its algorithms. Maximum airway pressure limit was 28 cm H2O in ASV. Six sets of lung mechanics were simulated for two ideal body weights: 60 kg, Group I; 80 kg, Group II. Positive end expiratory pressure was 8, 12, and 16 cm H2O, and target minute volume 120%, 150%, and 200% of predicted minute volume.
Results: ASV "sacrificed" tidal volume and minute ventilation to maintain PP in 9 (17%) of 54 scenarios in Group I and 20 (37%) of 54 scenarios in Group II. In Group I, the number of scenarios with PP of 28 cm H2O or more was 14 for ASV (26%) and 19 for 6 ml/kg (35%). In these scenarios, mean PP were ASV 28.8 +/- 0.86 cm H2O (min 28, max 30.3) and 6 ml/kg 33.01 +/- 3.48 cm H2O (min 28, max 37.8) (P = 0.000). In group II, the number of scenarios PP of 28 cm H2O or more was 10 for ASV (19%) and 21 for 6 ml/kg (39%). In these cases, mean PP values were ASV 28.78 +/- 0.54 cm H2O (min 28, max 29.6) and 6 ml/kg 32.66 +/- 3.37 cm H2O (min 28.2, max 38.2) (P = 0.000).
Conclusion: In a lung model with varying mechanics, ASV is better able to prevent the potential damaging effects of excessive PP (greater than 28 cm H2O) than a fixed tidal volume of 6 ml/kg by automatically adjusting airway pressure, resulting in a decreased tidal volume.