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- Open Access
Respiratory variability in mechanically ventilated patients
© Desaive et al. 2011
- Published: 1 March 2011
- Tidal Volume
- Cumulative Distribution Function
- Pressure Support
- Respiratory Pattern
- Inspiratory Effort
Increased respiratory pattern variability is associated with improved oxygenation. Pressure support (PS) is a widely used partial-assist mechanical ventilation (MV) mode, in which each breathing cycle is initiated by flow or pressure variation at the airway due to patient inspiratory effort. Neurally adjusted ventilatory assist (NAVA) is relatively new and uses the electrical activity of the diaphragm (Eadi) to deliver ventilatory support proportional to the patient's inspiratory demand. We hypothesize that respiratory variability should be greater with NAVA compared with PS.
Twenty-two patients underwent 20 minutes of PS followed by 20 minutes of NAVA. Flow and Eadi curves were used to obtain tidal volume (Vt) and ∫Eadi for 300 to 400 breaths in each patient. Patient-specific cumulative distribution functions (CDF) show the percentage Vt and ∫Eadi within a clinically defined (±10%) variability band for each patient. Values are normalized to patient-specific medians for direct comparison. Variability in Vt (outcome) is thus expressed in terms of variability in ∫Eadi (demand) on the same plot.
NAVA yields greater variability in tidal volume, relative to ∫Eadi demand, and a better match between Vt and ∫Eadi. These results indicate that NAVA could achieve improved oxygenation compared with PS when sufficient underlying variability in ∫Eadi is present, due to its ability to achieve higher tidal volume variability from a given variability in ∫Eadi.
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.