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Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2006 Oct;291(4):L710-7. Epub 2006 May 12.

Choosing the frequency of deep inflation in mice: balancing recruitment against ventilator-induced lung injury.

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Vermont Lung Center, Department of Medicine, University of Vermont, Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington, VT 05405, USA.


Low tidal volume (Vt) ventilation is protective against ventilator-induced lung injury but can promote development of atelectasis. Periodic deep inflation (DI) can open the lung, but if delivered too frequently may cause damage via repeated overdistention. We therefore examined the effects of varying DI frequency on lung mechanics, gas exchange, and biomarkers of injury in mice. C57BL/6 males were mechanically ventilated with positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) of 2 cmH2O for 2 h. One high Vt group received a DI with each breath (HV). Low Vt groups received 2 DIs after each hour of ventilation (LV) or 2 DIs every minute (LVDI). Control groups included a nonventilated surgical sham and a group receiving high Vt with zero PEEP (HVZP). Respiratory impedance was measured every 4 min, from which tissue elastance (H) and damping (G) were derived. G and H rose progressively during LV and HVZP, but returned to baseline after hourly DI during LV. During LVDI and HV, G and H remained low and gas exchange was superior to that of LV. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid protein was elevated in HV and HVZP but was not different between LV and LVDI. Lung tissue IL-6 and IL-1beta levels were elevated in HVZP and lower in LVDI compared with LV. We conclude that frequent DI can safely improve gas exchange and lung mechanics and may confer protection from biotrauma. Differences between LVDI and HV suggest that an optimal frequency range of DI exists, within which the benefits of maintaining an open lung outweigh injury incurred from overdistention.

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