It is common practice to convert patients with acute respiratory insufficiency (ARI) from controlled mechanical ventilation to some form of assisted spontaneous breathing as early as possible. A widely used mode of assisted spontaneous breathing is patient-triggered inspiratory pressure support (IPS). We investigated 11 patients with ARI during weaning from mechanical ventilation using IPS and found that in 9 of these patients, desynchronization between patient and ventilator occurred, ie, that the ventilator did not detect and support all the patients' breathing efforts. Five of these 9 patients displayed severe desynchronization lasting at least 5 min and with less than half of all breathing efforts being supported by the ventilator. We present the analysis of gas flow, volume, esophageal pressure, airway pressure, and tracheal pressure of 1 patient with ARI displaying desynchronization under IPS. Our results imply that desynchronization can occur due to the following: (1) inspiratory response delays caused by the inspiratory triggering mechanisms and the demand flow characteristics of the ventilator; (2) a mismatch between the patient's completion of the inspiration effort and the ventilator's criterion for terminating pressure support; and (3) restriction of expiration due to resistance from patient's airways, endotracheal tube, and expiratory valve. From our analysis, we have made proposals for reducing desynchronization in clinical practice.