Effective gas exchange in paralyzed juvenile rabbits using simple, inexpensive respiratory support devices

Pediatr Res. 2010 Dec;68(6):526-30. doi: 10.1203/PDR.0b013e3181f985f0.


We have developed two devices: a high-amplitude bubble continuous positive airway pressure (HAB-CPAP) and an inexpensive bubble intermittent mandatory ventilator (B-IMV) to test the hypotheses that simple, inexpensive devices can provide gas exchange similar to that of bubble CPAP (B-CPAP) and conventional mechanical ventilation (CMV). Twelve paralyzed juvenile rabbits were intubated, stabilized on CMV, and then switched to CPAP. On identical mean airway pressures (MAPs), animals were unable to maintain pulse oximeter oxygen saturation (SpO2) >80% on conventional B-CPAP, but all animals oxygenated well (97.3 ± 2.1%) on HAB-CPAP. In fact, arterial partial pressures of O2 (Pao2) were higher during HAB-CPAP than during CMV (p = 0.01). After repeated lung lavages, arterial partial pressures of CO2 (Paco2) were lower with B-IMV than with CMV (p < 0.0001), despite identical ventilator settings. In lavaged animals, when HAB-CPAP was compared with CMV at the same MAP and 100% O2, no differences were observed in Pao2, but Paco2 levels were higher with HAB-CPAP (70 ± 7 versus 50 ± 5 mm Hg; p < 0.05). Arterial blood pressures were not impaired by HAB-CPAP or B-IMV. The results confirm that simple inexpensive devices can provide respiratory support in the face of severe lung disease and could extend the use of respiratory support for preterm infants into severely resource-limited settings.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure / economics
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure / instrumentation*
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / economics
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / therapy
  • Intermittent Positive-Pressure Ventilation / economics
  • Intermittent Positive-Pressure Ventilation / instrumentation*
  • Intermittent Positive-Pressure Ventilation / methods*
  • Paralysis / therapy*
  • Pulmonary Gas Exchange / physiology*
  • Rabbits
  • Respiration
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn / economics
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn / therapy