Key words Mechanical ventilation
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Work of breathing physiology
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Objective: To investigate the breathing pattern and the inspiratory work of breathing (WOBI) in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) assisted with proportional assist ventilation (PAV) and conventional pressure support ventilation (PSV). Design: Prospective controlled study. Setting: Intensive care unit of a university hospital. Patients: Thirteen COPD patients being weaned from mechanical ventilation. Interventions: All patients were breathing PSV and two different levels of PAV. Measurements and main results: During PAV (EVITA 2 prototype, Dräger, Germany), the resistance of the endotracheal tube (Ret) was completely compensated while the patients' resistive and elastic loads were compensated for by approximately 80 % and 50 % (PAV80 and PAV50), respectively. PSV was adjusted to match the same mean inspiratory pressure (Pinspmean) as during PAV80. Airway pressure, esophageal pressure and gas flow were measured over a period of 5 min during each mode. Neuromuscular drive (P0.1) was determined by inspiratory occlusions. Mean tidal volume (VT) was not significantly different between the modes. However, the coefficient of variation of VT was 10 ± 4.%, 20 ± 13 % and 15 ± 8 % during PSV, PAV80 and PAV50, respectively. Respiratory rate (RR) and minute ventilation (VE) were significantly lower during PAV80 as compared with both other modes, but the differences did not exceed 10 %. PAV80 and PSV had comparable effects on WOBI and P0.1, whereas WOBI and P0.1 increased during PAV50 compared with both other modes. Conclusion: Mean values of breathing pattern did not differ by a large amount between the investigated modes. However, the higher variability of VT during PAV indicates an increased ability of the patients to control VT in response to alterations in respiratory demand. A reduction in assist during PAV50 resulted in an increase in WOB and indices of patient effort.
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