Objective: Optimizing alveolar recruitment by alveolar recruitment strategy (ARS) and maintaining lung volume with adequate positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) allow preventing ventilator-induced lung injury (VILI). Knowing that PEEP has its most beneficial effects when dynamic compliance of respiratory system (Crs) is maximized, we hypothesize that the use of 8 cm H(2)O PEEP with ARS results in an increase in Crs and end-expiratory lung volume (EELV) compared to 8 cm H(2)O PEEP without ARS and to zero PEEP in pediatric patients undergoing cardiac surgery for congenital heart disease.
Methods: Twenty consecutive children were studied. Three different ventilation strategies were applied to each patient in the following order: 0 cm H(2)O PEEP, 8 cm H(2)O PEEP without an ARS, and 8 cm H(2)O PEEP with a standardized ARS. At the end of each ventilation strategy, Crs, EELV, and arterial blood gases were measured.
Results: EELV, Crs, and P(a)O(2)/FiO(2) ratio changed significantly (P < 0.001) with the application of 8 cm H2O + ARS. Mean P(a)CO(2)- PETCO(2) difference between 0 PEEP and 8 cm H2O PEEP + ARS was also significant (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: An alveolar recruitment strategy with relative high PEEP significantly improves Crs, oxygenation, P(a)CO(2)- PETCO(2) difference, and EELV in pediatric patients undergoing cardiac surgery for congenital heart disease.