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Anesthesiology. 2004 Mar;100(3):608-16.

Variable ventilation improves perioperative lung function in patients undergoing abdominal aortic aneurysmectomy.

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Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care, Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.



Optimizing perioperative mechanical ventilation remains a significant clinical challenge. Experimental models indicate that "noisy" or variable ventilation (VV)--return of physiologic variability to respiratory rate and tidal volume--improves lung function compared with monotonous control mode ventilation (CV). VV was compared with CV in patients undergoing abdominal aortic aneurysmectomy, a patient group known to be at risk of deteriorating lung function perioperatively.


After baseline measurements under general anesthesia (CV with a tidal volume of 10 ml/kg and a respiratory rate of 10 breaths/min), patients were randomized to continue CV or switch to VV (computer control of the ventilator at the same minute ventilation but with 376 combinations of respiratory rate and tidal volume). Lung function was measured hourly for the next 6 h during surgery and recovery.


Forty-one patients for aneurysmectomy were studied. The characteristics of the patients in the two groups were similar. Repeated-measures analysis of variance (group x time interaction) revealed greater arterial oxygen partial pressure (P = 0.011), lower arterial carbon dioxide partial pressure (P = 0.012), lower dead space ventilation (P = 0.011), increased compliance (P = 0.049), and lower mean peak inspiratory pressure (P = 0.013) with VV.


The VV mode of ventilation significantly improved lung function over CV in patients undergoing abdominal aortic aneurysmectomy.

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