Objectives: The impact of tidal volume on outcomes in mechanically ventilated children with pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome remains unclear. To date, observational investigations have failed to calculate tidal volume based on standardized corrections of weight. We investigated the impact of tidal volume on mortality and probability of extubation in pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome using ideal body weight-adjusted tidal volume.
Design: Retrospective analysis of an ongoing prospective cohort of pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome patients. Tidal volume was calculated based on actual body weight and two different formulations of ideal body weight.
Setting: PICU at a large, tertiary care children's hospital.
Patients: Pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome patients on conventional ventilation with a documented height or length.
Measurements and main results: There were 483 patients with a measured height or length at pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome onset included in the final analysis, with 73 nonsurvivors (15%). At 24 hours, there remained 400 patients on conventional ventilation. When calculating tidal volume based on ideal body weight by either method, volumes were larger both at onset and at 24 hours compared with tidal volume based on actual body weight (all p < 0.001), and the proportion of patients being ventilated with tidal volumes greater than 10 mL/kg based on ideal body weight was larger both at onset (12.4% and 15.5%) and 24 hours (10.3% and 11.5%) compared with actual body weight at onset (3.5%) and 24 hours (4.0%) (all p < 0.001). Tidal volume, based on both actual body weight and ideal body weight, was not associated with either increased mortality or decreased probability of extubation after adjusting for oxygenation index in the whole cohort, whereas associations between higher tidal volume and poor outcomes were seen in subgroup analyses in overweight children and in severe pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome.
Conclusions: Our retrospective analysis of a cohort of pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome patients did not find a consistent association between tidal volume adjusted for ideal body weight and outcomes, although an association may exist in certain subgroups. Although it remains to be shown in a prospective trial whether high volumes or pressures are injurious in pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome, tidal volume is likely an imprecise parameter for titrating lung-protective ventilation.