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The authors determined cardiovascular, renal, and hormonal responses to increased airway pressure during continuous positive-pressure ventilation (CPPV) and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Nine healthy, hydrated laboratory swine had appropriate catheters placed to allow for measurement of intra-pleural, aortic, inferior vena caval, and left ventricular end-diastolic pressures; cardiac output; and urinary flow. Samples of arterial blood were analyzed for oxygen and carbon dioxide tensions, pH, plasma vasopressin, osmolality, and creatinine and sodium concentrations. Urine was analyzed for osmolality and creatinine and sodium concentrations, and volume was recorded. Intrapleural pressure was subtracted from left ventricular end-diastolic pressure to calculate transmural pressure, a reflection of left ventricular filling pressure. Glomerular filtration rate and urinary free-water and osmolal clearances were also calculated.Expiratory left ventricular filling pressure was decreased equally by CPAP and CPPV. However, inspiratory left ventricular filling pressure and cardiac output were decreased by CPPV only. Urinary flow and glomerular filtration rate were decreased equally by CPAP and CPPV. Sodium excretion was decreased and plasma vasopressin increased by CPPV, but not by CPAP. Urinary free water and osmolal clearances were not changed by either ventilatory pattern. Although many of the renal-function variables were affected similarly by CPPV and CPAP, these alterations were not influenced solely by cardiac output or vasopressin, because only CPPV depressed cardiac output and increased vasopressin levels.