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Eur Respir J. 1991 Oct;4(9):1053-9.

Does PEEP facilitate the resolution of extravascular lung water after experimental hydrostatic pulmonary oedema?

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  • 1Dept. of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Danderyd Hospital, Sweden.


The effect of mechanical ventilation with positive end-expiratory pressure on the resolution of hydrostatic pulmonary oedema created by temporary left atrial balloon inflation was studied in mechanically ventilated dogs. Immediately after the hydrostatic process was terminated, by deflating the left atrial balloon, the animals were ventilated for 4 h with zero end-expiratory pressure (ZEEP, n = 6) or with a positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP, n = 6) of 1.0 kPa (10 cmH2O). Gas exchange and extravascular lung water content (EVLW) with the double indicator dilution technique (dye/cold) were studied and gravimetric determination of lung water was made postmortem. EVLW decreased from 31.6 +/- 7.3 mean +/- SD during maximal oedema to 14.5 +/- 2.1 (p less than 0.001) 4 h after deflation of the left atrial balloon in dogs ventilated with ZEEP. The corresponding values in dogs ventilated with PEEP were a reduction in EVLW from 28.0 +/- 4.1 to 20.7 +/- 4.0 (p less than 0.01) (mean decrease 7.3 +/- 4.0 EVLW was significantly higher after 4 h on PEEP than after ZEEP (p less than 0.01). Gravimetric values at the end of the experiment were 12.4 +/- 2.8 (ZEEP) and 14.7 +/- 4.5 (PEEP) (NS). Oxygenation improved in both groups during the resolution of oedema with a more evident and early effect in the PEEP group. It is concluded that mechanical ventilation with PEEP of 1.0 kPa (10 cmH2O) in the resolution phase after experimental hydrostatic oedema improves oxygenation but retards the resolution of oedema.

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