Hysteresis and Lung Recruitment in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Patients: A CT Scan Study

Crit Care Med. 2020 Oct;48(10):1494-1502. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000004518.


Objectives: Hysteresis of the respiratory system pressure-volume curve is related to alveolar surface forces, lung stress relaxation, and tidal reexpansion/collapse. Hysteresis has been suggested as a means of assessing lung recruitment. The objective of this study was to determine the relationship between hysteresis, mechanical characteristics of the respiratory system, and lung recruitment assessed by a CT scan in mechanically ventilated acute respiratory distress syndrome patients.

Design: Prospective observational study.

Setting: General ICU of a university hospital.

Patients: Twenty-five consecutive sedated and paralyzed patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (age 64 ± 15 yr, body mass index 26 ± 6 kg/m, PaO2/FIO2 147 ± 42, and positive end-expiratory pressure 9.3 ± 1.4 cm H2O) were enrolled.

Interventions: A low-flow inflation and deflation pressure-volume curve (5-45 cm H2O) and a sustained inflation recruitment maneuver (45 cm H2O for 30 s) were performed. A lung CT scan was performed during breath-holding pressure at 5 cm H2O and during the recruitment maneuver at 45 cm H2O.

Measurements and main results: Lung recruitment was computed as the difference in noninflated tissue and in gas volume measured at 5 and at 45 cm H2O. Hysteresis was calculated as the ratio of the area enclosed by the pressure-volume curve and expressed as the hysteresis ratio. Hysteresis was correlated with respiratory system compliance computed at 5 cm H2O and the lung gas volume entering the lung during inflation of the pressure-volume curve (R = 0.749, p < 0.001 and R = 0.851, p < 0.001). The hysteresis ratio was related to both lung tissue and gas recruitment (R = 0.266, p = 0.008, R = 0.357, p = 0.002, respectively). Receiver operating characteristic analysis showed that the optimal cutoff value to predict lung tissue recruitment for the hysteresis ratio was 28% (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.62-0.98), with sensitivity and specificity of 0.75 and 0.77, respectively.

Conclusions: Hysteresis of the respiratory system computed by low-flow pressure-volume curve is related to the anatomical lung characteristics and has an acceptable accuracy to predict lung recruitment.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung / physiopathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / diagnostic imaging*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Respiratory Mechanics / physiology*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed