Background: High-frequency oscillatory ventilation (HFOV) has recently been applied to acute respiratory distress syndrome patients. However, the issue of humidification during HFOV has not been investigated. In a bench study, we evaluated humidification during HFOV for adults to test if adequate humidification was achieved in 2 different HFOV systems.
Material/methods: We tested 2 brands of adult HFOV ventilators, the R100 (Metran, Japan) and the 3100B (SensorMedics, CA), under identical bias flow. A heated humidifier consisting of porous hollow fiber (Hummax II, Metran) was set for the R100, and a passover-type heated humidifier (MR850, Fisher & Paykel) was set for the 3100B, while inspiratory heating wire was applied to both systems. Each ventilator was connected to a lung model in an incubator. Absolute humidity, relative humidity and temperature at the airway opening were measured using a hygrometer under a variety of ventilatory settings: 3 stroke volumes/amplitudes, 3 frequencies, and 2 mean airway pressures.
Results: The R100 ventilator showed higher absolute humidity, higher relative humidity, and lower temperature than the 3100B. In the R100, as stroke volume and frequency increased, absolute humidity and temperature increased. In the 3100B, amplitude, frequency, and mean airway pressure minimally affected absolute humidity and temperature. Relative humidity was almost 100% in the R100, while it was 80.5±2.3% in the 3100B.
Conclusions: Humidification during HFOV for adults was affected by stroke volume and frequency in the R100, but was not in the 3100B. Absolute humidity was above 33 mgH_2 O/L in these 2 systems under a range of settings.