Comparison of three methods of gradual withdrawal from ventilatory support during weaning from mechanical ventilation

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1994 Oct;150(4):896-903. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.150.4.7921460.


Several modalities of ventilatory support have been proposed to gradually withdraw patients from mechanical ventilation, but their respective effects on the outcome of weaning from mechanical ventilation are not known. We conducted a randomized trial in three intensive care units in mechanically ventilated patients who met standard weaning criteria. Those who could not sustain 2 h of spontaneous breathing were randomly assigned to be weaned with T-piece trials, with synchronized intermittent mandatory ventilation (SIMV), or with pressure support ventilation (PSV). Specific criteria for performing tracheal extubation were defined for each modality. The number of patients who could not be separated from the ventilator at 21 d (i.e., who failed to wean) was compared between the groups. Patients in whom tracheal intubation was required in a 48-h period following extubation were also classified as failures. Among 456 mechanically ventilated patients who met weaning criteria, 109 entered into the study (35 with T piece, 43 with SIMV, and 31 with PSV). The three groups were comparable in terms of etiology of disease or characteristics at entry in the study. When all causes for weaning failure were considered, a lower number of failures was found with PSV than with the other two modes, with the difference just reaching the level of significance (23% for PSV, 43% for T piece, 42% for SIMV; p = 0.05). After excluding patients whose weaning was terminated for complications unrelated to the weaning process, the difference became highly significant (8% for PSV versus 33% and 39%, p < 0.025).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Probability
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Failure
  • Ventilator Weaning / instrumentation
  • Ventilator Weaning / methods*
  • Ventilator Weaning / statistics & numerical data
  • Ventilators, Mechanical