Objective: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of partial liquid ventilation (PLV).
Design: Before-after trial.
Setting: The surgical intensive care unit at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, from April to December 1994.
Patients: A consecutive sample of 10 patients aged 19 to 55 years with the acute respiratory distress syndrome who were receiving extracorporeal life support.
Intervention: Perflubron was administered into the trachea until the dependent zone of the lung was filled. Gas ventilation of the perflubron-filled lung was then performed (PLV). Volatilized perflubron replacement was repeated daily for from 1 to 7 days with a median cumulative dose of 38 mL/kg (range, 15 to 62 mL/kg).
Main outcome measures: Physiologic shunt and static pulmonary compliance.
Results: Physiologic shunt decreased from a median of 0.72 (range, 0.37 to 1.0) to 0.46 (range, 0.21 to 0.96) over the 72 hours following initiation of PLV (P = .01 by repeated measures analysis of variance). Static pulmonary compliance corrected for patient weight increased from a median of 0.16 mL/cm H2O per kilogram (range, 0.01 to 0.48 mL/cm H2O per kilogram) to 0.27 mL/cm H2O per kilogram (range, 0.05 to 1.11 mL/cm H2O per kilogram) over the same time period (P = .04 by repeated measures analysis of variance). Overall survival was five (50%) of 10 patients. Complications that were potentially associated with PLV included pneumothorax development in one patient and mucus plug formation in one patient.
Conclusions: Perflubron may be safely administered into the lungs of patients with severe respiratory failure receiving extracorporeal life support and may be associated with improvement in gas exchange and pulmonary compliance.