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Respir Care. 2005 Dec;50(12):1623-31.

Work of breathing during lung-protective ventilation in patients with acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome: a comparison between volume and pressure-regulated breathing modes.

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Critical Care Division, Department of Anesthesia, University of California, San Francisco, USA.



Pressure-control ventilation (PCV) and pressure-regulated volume-control (PRVC) ventilation are used during lung-protective ventilation because the high, variable, peak inspiratory flow rate (V (I)) may reduce patient work of breathing (WOB) more than the fixed V (I) of volume-control ventilation (VCV). Patient-triggered breaths during PCV and PRVC may result in excessive tidal volume (V(T)) delivery unless the inspiratory pressure is reduced, which in turn may decrease the peak V (I). We tested whether PCV and PRVC reduce WOB better than VCV with a high, fixed peak V (I) (75 L/min) while also maintaining a low V(T) target.


Fourteen nonconsecutive patients with acute lung injury or acute respiratory distress syndrome were studied prospectively, using a random presentation of ventilator modes in a crossover, repeated-measures design. A target V(T) of 6.4 + 0.5 mL/kg was set during VCV and PRVC. During PCV the inspiratory pressure was set to achieve the same V(T). WOB and other variables were measured with a pulmonary mechanics monitor (Bicore CP-100).


There was a nonsignificant trend toward higher WOB (in J/L) during PCV (1.27 + 0.58 J/L) and PRVC (1.35 + 0.60 J/L), compared to VCV (1.09 + 0.59 J/L). While mean V(T) was not statistically different between modes, in 40% of patients, V(T) markedly exceeded the lung-protective ventilation target during PRVC and PCV.


During lung-protective ventilation, PCV and PRVC offer no advantage in reducing WOB, compared to VCV with a high flow rate, and in some patients did not allow control of V(T) to be as precise.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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