Respiratory and hemodynamic effects of a stepwise lung recruitment maneuver in pediatric ARDS: a feasibility study

Pediatr Pulmonol. 2013 Nov;48(11):1135-43. doi: 10.1002/ppul.22729. Epub 2012 Dec 19.


Background: Little is known about the efficacy and safety of recruitment maneuvers (RMs) in pediatric patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). We therefore assessed the effects on gas exchange and lung mechanics and the possible detrimental effects of a sequential lung RMs and decremental positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) titration in pediatric ARDS patients.

Methods: We enrolled patients <15 years of age with ARDS, progressive hypoxemia, <72 hr of mechanical ventilation, and hemodynamic stability. A step-wise RM and decremental PEEP trial were performed. Safety was evaluated as the occurrence of hypotension and low pulse oxymeter oxygen saturation during the maneuver and development of airleaks after. Efficacy was evaluated as changes in lung compliance (Cdyn ) and gas exchange 1, 12, and 24 hr after the RM.

Results: We included 25 patients, of median age 5 (1-16) months, median weight 7.0 (4.1-9.2) kg, median PaO2 /FIO2 117 (96-139), and median Cdyn 0.48 (0.41-0.68) ml/cmH2 O/kg at baseline. Thirty RM were performed, with all completed successfully. No airleaks developed. Mild hypotension was detected during four procedures. Following RM, Cdyn , and PaO2 /FIO2 increased significantly (P < 0.01 each), without changes in PaCO2 (P = 0.4). A >25% improvement in lung function (Cdyn or PaO2 /FIO2 ) was observed after 90% of the RM procedures. Gas exchange worsening over the next 24 hr resulted in HFOV use in 36% of patients, while the remaining subjects sustained improvements in oxygenation at 12 and 24 hr. The 28-day mortality rate was 16%.

Conclusions: Sequential RMs were safe and well tolerated in hemodynamically stable children with ARDS. RMs and a decremental PEEP trial may improve lung function in pediatric patients with ARDS and severe hypoxemia.

Keywords: acute respiratory distress syndrome; hemodynamic; hypoxemia; pediatrics; recruitment.

MeSH terms

  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration
  • Pulmonary Gas Exchange*
  • Respiration, Artificial / methods*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / therapy*