Key words Spontaneous variability
Positive end-expiratory pressure
Inverse ratio ventilation
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Objective: To assess the magnitude of spontaneous variability of arterial oxygenation and oxygen tension-based indices over time in medical intensive care unit (ICU) patients and to study whether high positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) or inverse inspiratory-to-expiratory (I:E) ratio ventilation (IRV) results in a greater variability than low PEEP with conventiona l I:E ratio ventilation. Design: Prospective study. Setting: Medical ICU in a tertiary medical center. Participants: 23 patients requiring a pulmonary artery floating catheter for hemodynamic monitoring. Intervention: After being completely sedated, patients were randomized to receive pressure-control ventilation at setting A: high PEEP (15 cmH2O) with conventional I:E ratio (1:2) and setting B: inverse I:E ratio (2:1) with low PEEP (5 cmH2O) alternately, and then at setting C: low PEEP (5 cmH2O) with conventional I:E ratio (1:2). Each ventilation setting lasted 1 h. Measurements and results: The arterial and mixed venous blood samples were measured simultaneously at baseline (time 0), and at 15, 30, 45, and 60 min thereafter. The coefficient of variation (CV) of arterial oxygen tension (PaO2) over time was 5.9 % for setting A, 7.2 % for setting B, and 6.9 % for setting C. ANOVA showed no significant differences in CVs of PaO2 between the three settings. Oxygen tension-based indices, alveolar-arterial oxygen difference (A-aDO2) and PaO2/PAO2 (alveolar oxygen tension), displayed CV s equal to that of PaO2; the CV of A-aDO2/PaO2 was significantly greater than that of PaO2. Conclusions: In critically ill medical ICU patients, despite sedation, the spontaneous variability in PaO2 over time is substantial. A high PEEP or IRV does not contribute to the increased variation in PaO2.
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