Real-time ventilation and perfusion distributions by electrical impedance tomography during one-lung ventilation with capnothorax

Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2015 Mar;59(3):354-68. doi: 10.1111/aas.12455. Epub 2015 Jan 5.


Background: Carbon dioxide insufflation into the pleural cavity, capnothorax, with one-lung ventilation (OLV) may entail respiratory and hemodynamic impairments. We investigated the online physiological effects of OLV/capnothorax by electrical impedance tomography (EIT) in a porcine model mimicking the clinical setting.

Methods: Five anesthetized, muscle-relaxed piglets were subjected to first right and then left capnothorax with an intra-pleural pressure of 19 cm H2 O. The contra-lateral lung was mechanically ventilated with a double-lumen tube at positive end-expiratory pressure 5 and subsequently 10 cm H2 O. Regional lung perfusion and ventilation were assessed by EIT. Hemodynamics, cerebral tissue oxygenation and lung gas exchange were also measured.

Results: During right-sided capnothorax, mixed venous oxygen saturation (P = 0.018), as well as a tissue oxygenation index (P = 0.038) decreased. There was also an increase in central venous pressure (P = 0.006), and a decrease in mean arterial pressure (P = 0.045) and cardiac output (P = 0.017). During the left-sided capnothorax, the hemodynamic impairment was less than during the right side. EIT revealed that during the first period of OLV/capnothorax, no or very minor ventilation on the right side could be seen (3 ± 3% vs. 97 ± 3%, right vs. left, P = 0.007), perfusion decreased in the non-ventilated and increased in the ventilated lung (18 ± 2% vs. 82 ± 2%, right vs. left, P = 0.03). During the second OLV/capnothorax period, a similar distribution of perfusion was seen in the animals with successful separation (84 ± 4% vs. 16 ± 4%, right vs. left).

Conclusion: EIT detected in real-time dynamic changes in pulmonary ventilation and perfusion distributions. OLV to the left lung with right-sided capnothorax caused a decrease in cardiac output, arterial oxygenation and mixed venous saturation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Carbon Dioxide / administration & dosage
  • Cardiac Output / physiology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Electric Impedance
  • Hemodynamics / physiology*
  • Insufflation / methods*
  • One-Lung Ventilation*
  • Pleural Cavity
  • Pulmonary Circulation / physiology
  • Swine


  • Carbon Dioxide