Carbon Dioxide Clearance in Rabbits During Expiratory Phase Intratracheal Pulmonary Ventilation

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The purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy of CO2 removal during conventional mechanical ventilation (CMV) with and without expiratory phase intratracheal pulmonary ventilation (expiratory ITPV or Exp-ITPV); and to compare CO2 clearance during Exp-ITPV, in pressure-controlled ventilation (PCV) and in volume-controlled ventilation (VCV) modes. Seven anesthetized rabbits were tracheotomized and intubated using a 4 mm endotracheal tube. Venous and arterial lines were established. The rabbits were paralyzed, mechanically ventilated, and ventilation parameters were adjusted to achieve baseline arterial hypercapnia. Animals were then ventilated during 30-minute trials of CMV and Exp-ITPV, in both PCV and VCV modes. A custom-built, microprocessor-controlled solenoid valve was used to limit ITPV gas flow to the expiratory phase. Proximal and carinal airway pressures and hemodynamic variables were continuously recorded, and arterial blood gases were analyzed at the end of each trial. Exp-ITPV, as compared with CMV, reduced arterial PCO2 by 12% and 21% in PCV and VCV modes, respectively (p < 0.02 and p < 0.001; one-sided paired t test), without significant changes in other cardiorespiratory variables. In conclusion, Exp-ITPV is more effective than CMV in clearing CO2 through a small endotracheal tube. Exp-ITPV is also more effective in VCV mode than PCV mode.

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