Predictive parameters for weaning from mechanical ventilation

J Bras Pneumol. 2011 Sep-Oct;37(5):669-79. doi: 10.1590/s1806-37132011000500016.
[Article in English, Portuguese]


The use of predictive parameters for weaning from mechanical ventilation is a rather polemic topic, and the results of studies on this topic are divergent. Regardless of the use of these predictive parameters, the spontaneous breathing trial (SBT) is recommended. The objective of the present study was to review the utility of predictive parameters for weaning in adults. To that end, we searched the Medline, LILACS, and PubMed databases in order to review articles published between 1991 and 2009, in English or in Portuguese, using the following search terms: weaning/desmame, extubation/extubação, and weaning indexes/indices de desmame. The use of clinical impression is an inexact means of predicting weaning outcomes. The most widely used weaning parameter is the RR/tidal volume (V T) ratio, although this parameter presents heterogeneous results in terms of accuracy. Other relevant parameters are MIP, airway occlusion pressure (P0.1), the P0.1/MIP ratio, RR, V T, minute volume, and the index based on compliance, RR, oxygenation, and MIP. An index created in Brazil, the integrative weaning index, has shown high accuracy. Although recommended, the SBT is inaccurate, approximately 15% of extubation failures going unidentified in SBTs. The main limitations of the weaning indexes are related to their use in specific populations, the cut-off points selected, and variations in the types of measurement. Since the SBT and the clinical impression are not 100% accurate, the weaning parameters can be useful, especially in situations in which the decision as to weaning is difficult.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Respiration*
  • Ventilator Weaning / methods*
  • Ventilator Weaning / standards