Setting individualized positive end-expiratory pressure level with a positive end-expiratory pressure decrement trial after a recruitment maneuver improves oxygenation and lung mechanics during one-lung ventilation

Anesth Analg. 2014 Mar;118(3):657-65. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000000105.


Background: We investigated whether individualized positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) improves oxygenation, ventilation, and lung mechanics during one-lung ventilation compared with standardized PEEP.

Methods: Thirty patients undergoing thoracic surgery were randomly allocated to the study or control group. Both groups received an alveolar recruitment maneuver at the beginning and end of one-lung ventilation. After the alveolar recruitment maneuver, the control group had their lungs ventilated with a 5 cm·H2O PEEP, while the study group had their lungs ventilated with an individualized PEEP level determined by a PEEP decrement trial. Arterial blood samples, lung mechanics, and volumetric capnography were recorded at multiple timepoints throughout the procedure.

Results: The individualized PEEP values in study group were higher than the standardized PEEP values (10 ± 2 vs 5 cm·H2O; P < 0.001). In both groups, arterial oxygenation decreased when bilateral-lung ventilation was switched to one-lung ventilation and increased after the alveolar recruitment maneuver. During one-lung ventilation, oxygenation was maintained in the study group but decreased in the control group. After one-lung ventilation, arterial oxygenation was significantly higher in the study group (306 vs 231 mm·Hg, P = 0.007). Static compliance decreased in both groups when bilateral-lung ventilation was switched to one-lung ventilation. Static compliance increased significantly only in the study group (P < 0.001) after the alveolar recruitment maneuver and optimal PEEP adjustment. The alveolar recruitment maneuver did not decrease cardiac index in any patient.

Conclusions: During one-lung ventilation, the improvements in oxygenation and lung mechanics after an alveolar recruitment maneuver were better preserved by ventilation by using individualized PEEP with a PEEP decrement trial than with a standardized 5 cm·H2O of PEEP.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Compliance / physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • One-Lung Ventilation / methods*
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration / methods*
  • Respiratory Mechanics / physiology*