Objectives: To study the ability of different ventilatory approaches to keep the lung open.
Design: Different ventilatory patterns were applied in surfactant deficient lungs with PEEP set to achieve pre-lavage PaO2.
Setting: Experimental laboratory of a University Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care.
Animals: 15 anaesthetised piglets.
Interventions: One volume-controlled mode (L-IPPV201:1.5) and two pressure-controlled modes at 20 breaths per minute (bpm) and I:E ratios of 2:1 and 1.5:1 (L-PRVC202:1 and L-PRVC201.5:1), and two pressure-controlled modes at 60 bpm and I:E of 1:1 and 1:1.5 (L-PRVC601:1 and L-PRVC601:1.5) were investigated. The pressure-controlled modes were applied using "Pressure-Regulated Volume-Controlled Ventilation" (PRVC).
Measurements and results: Gas exchange, airway pressures, hemodynamics, FRC and intrathoracic fluid volumes were measured. Gas exchange was the same for all modes. FRC was 30% higher with all post-lavage settings. By reducing inspiratory time MPAW decreased from 25 cmH2O by 3 cmH2O with L-PRVC201.5:1 and L-PRVC601:1.5. End-inspiratory airway pressure was 29 cmH2O with L-PRVC201.5:1 and 40 cmH2O with L-IPPV201:1.5, while the other modes displayed intermediate values. End-inspiratory lung volume was 65 ml/kg with L-IPPV201:1.5, but it was reduced to 50 and 49 ml/kg with L-PRVC601:1 and L-PRVC601:1.5. Compliance was 16 and 18 ml/cmH2O with L-PRVC202:1 and L-PRVC201.5:1, while it was lower with L-IPPV201:1.5, L-PRVC601:1 and L-PRVC601:1.5. Oxygen delivery was maintained at pre-lavage level with L-PRVC201.5:1 (657 ml/min.m2), the other modes displayed reduced oxygen delivery compared with pre-lavage.
Conclusion: Neither the rapid frequency modes nor the low frequency volume-controlled mode kept the surfactant deficient lungs open. Pressure-controlled inverse ratio ventilation (20 bpm) kept the lungs open at reduced end-inspiratory airway pressures and hence reduced risk of barotrauma. Reducing I:E ratio in this latter modality from 2:1 to 1.5:1 further improved oxygen delivery.