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. 2017 Oct;83(10):1075-1088.
doi: 10.23736/S0375-9393.17.11970-X. Epub 2017 May 19.

Intraoperative Mechanical Ventilation: State of the Art

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Intraoperative Mechanical Ventilation: State of the Art

Lorenzo Ball et al. Minerva Anestesiol. .
Free article


Mechanical ventilation is a cornerstone of the intraoperative management of the surgical patient and is still mandatory in several surgical procedures. In the last decades, research focused on preventing postoperative pulmonary complications (PPCs), both improving risk stratification through the use of predictive scores and protecting the lung adopting so-called protective ventilation strategies. The aim of this review was to give an up-to-date overview of the currently suggested intraoperative ventilation strategies, along with their pathophysiologic rationale, with a focus on challenging conditions, such as obesity, one-lung ventilation and cardiopulmonary bypass. While anesthesia and mechanical ventilation are becoming increasingly safe practices, the contribution to surgical mortality attributable to postoperative lung injury is not negligible: for these reasons, the prevention of PPCs, including the use of protective mechanical ventilation is mandatory. Mechanical ventilation should be optimized providing an adequate respiratory support while minimizing unwanted negative effects. Due to the high number of surgical procedures performed daily, the impact on patients' health and healthcare costs can be relevant, even when new strategies result in an apparently small improvement of outcome. A protective intraoperative ventilation should include a low tidal volume of 6-8 mL/kg of predicted body weight, plateau pressures ideally below 16 cmH2O, the lowest possible driving pressure, moderate-low PEEP levels except in obese patients, laparoscopy and long surgical procedures that might benefit of a slightly higher PEEP. The work of the anesthesiologist should start with a careful preoperative visit to assess the risk, and a close postoperative monitoring.

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