The pattern of breathing during successful and unsuccessful trials of weaning from mechanical ventilation

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1986 Dec;134(6):1111-8. doi: 10.1164/arrd.1986.134.5.1111.


We prospectively examined the pattern of breathing in patients being weaned from mechanical ventilation: one group (n = 10) underwent a successful weaning trial and were extubated, whereas another group (n = 7) developed respiratory failure and required the reinstitution of mechanical ventilation. During the period of ventilator support, minute ventilation (VI), tidal volume (VT), and respiratory frequency (f) were similar in the 2 groups. After discontinuation of the ventilator, VI remained similar in the 2 groups, but VT was lower and f was higher in the patients who failed the trial compared with those who were successful, 194 +/- 23 and 398 +/- 56 ml (p less than 0.001), respectively, and 32.3 +/- 2.3 and 20.9 +/- 2.8 breaths/min (p less than 0.001), respectively. The failure group displayed a significant increase in PaCO2 (p less than 0.005) during spontaneous breathing, without a concomitant increase in the alveolar-arterial PO2 difference. Eighty-one percent of the variance in PaCO2 was accounted for by the pattern of rapid, shallow breathing. During weaning, resting respiratory drive (reflected by mean inspiratory flow, VT/TI) and fractional inspiratory time (TI/Ttot) were similar in the 2 groups. The patients in the failure group showed significant increases in VT/TI, 265 +/- 27 to 328 +/- 32 ml/s (p less than 0.01), and VI, 5.82 +/- 0.53 to 7.32 +/- 0.52 L/min (p less than 0.01), from the beginning to the end of the weaning trial; VT and f showed no further change.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acidosis, Respiratory / epidemiology
  • Blood Gas Analysis
  • Calibration
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia / epidemiology
  • Plethysmography / instrumentation
  • Plethysmography / methods
  • Posture
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiration*
  • Respiration, Artificial* / methods
  • Respiratory Center / physiopathology
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / epidemiology
  • Spirometry
  • Time Factors