The respiratory and hemodynamic effects of alveolar recruitment in cirrhotic patients undergoing liver resection surgery: A randomized controlled trial

J Anaesthesiol Clin Pharmacol. 2023 Jan-Mar;39(1):113-120. doi: 10.4103/joacp.joacp_188_21. Epub 2022 Apr 22.


Background and aims: Extensive surgical retraction combined with general anesthesia increase alveolar collapse. The primary aim of our study was to investigate the effect of alveolar recruitment maneuver (ARM) on arterial oxygenation tension (PaO2). The secondary aim was to observe its effect on hemodynamics parameters in hepatic patients during liver resection, to investigate its impact on blood loss, postoperative pulmonary complications (PPC), remnant liver function tests, and on the outcome.

Material and methods: Adult patients scheduled for liver resection were randomized into two groups: ARM (n = 21) and control (C) (n = 21). Stepwise ARM was initiated after intubation and was repeated post-retraction. Pressure-control ventilation mode was adjusted to deliver a tidal volume (Vt) of 6 mL/kg and an inspiratory-to-expiratory time (I:E) ratio of 1:2 with an optimal positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) for the ARM group. In the C group, a fixed PEEP (5 cmH2O) was applied. Invasive intra-arterial blood pressure (IBP), central venous pressure (CVP), electrical cardiometry (EC), alanine transaminase (ALT, U/L), and aspartate aminotransferase (AST, U/L) blood levels were monitored.

Results: ARM increased PEEP, dynamic compliances, and arterial oxygenation, but reduced ventilator driving pressure compared to group C (P < 0.01). IBP, cardiac output (CO), and stroke volume variation were not affected by the higher PEEP in the ARM group (P > 0.05) but the CVP increased significantly (P = 0.001). Blood loss was not different between the ARM and C groups (1700 (1150-2000) mL vs 1110 (900-2400) mL, respectively and P = 0.57). ARM reduced postoperative oxygen desaturation; however, it did not affect the increase in remnant liver enzymes and was comparable to group C (ALT, P = 0.54, AST, P = 0.41).

Conclusions: ARM improved intraoperative lung mechanics and reduced oxygen desaturation episodes in recovery, but not PPC or ICU stay. ARM was tolerated with minimal cardiac and systemic hemodynamic effects.

Keywords: Blood loss; cardiac; cirrhosis; hepatectomy; liver; lung; recruitment.