Objectives: Lung- and diaphragm-protective ventilation is a novel concept that aims to limit the detrimental effects of mechanical ventilation on the diaphragm while remaining within limits of lung-protective ventilation. The premise is that low breathing effort under mechanical ventilation causes diaphragm atrophy, whereas excessive breathing effort induces diaphragm and lung injury. In a proof-of-concept study, we aimed to assess whether titration of inspiratory support based on diaphragm effort increases the time that patients have effort in a predefined "diaphragm-protective" range, without compromising lung-protective ventilation.
Design: Randomized clinical trial.
Setting: Mixed medical-surgical ICU in a tertiary academic hospital in the Netherlands.
Patients: Patients (n = 40) with respiratory failure ventilated in a partially-supported mode.
Interventions: In the intervention group, inspiratory support was titrated hourly to obtain transdiaphragmatic pressure swings in the predefined "diaphragm-protective" range (3-12 cm H2O). The control group received standard-of-care.
Measurements and main results: Transdiaphragmatic pressure, transpulmonary pressure, and tidal volume were monitored continuously for 24 hours in both groups. In the intervention group, more breaths were within "diaphragm-protective" range compared with the control group (median 81%; interquartile range [64-86%] vs 35% [16-60%], respectively; p < 0.001). Dynamic transpulmonary pressures (20.5 ± 7.1 vs 18.5 ± 7.0 cm H2O; p = 0.321) and tidal volumes (7.56 ± 1.47 vs 7.54 ± 1.22 mL/kg; p = 0.961) were not different in the intervention and control group, respectively.
Conclusions: Titration of inspiratory support based on patient breathing effort greatly increased the time that patients had diaphragm effort in the predefined "diaphragm-protective" range without compromising tidal volumes and transpulmonary pressures. This study provides a strong rationale for further studies powered on patient-centered outcomes.
Copyright © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. on behalf of the Society of Critical Care Medicine and Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.