Effect of Patient-triggered Ventilation on Respiratory Workload in Infants after Cardiac Surgery

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BackgroundPatient-triggered ventilation (PTV) is commonly used in adults to avoid dyssynchrony between patient and ventilator. However, few investigations have examined the effects of PTV in infants. Our objective was to determine if pressure-control PTV reduces infants’ respiratory workloads in proportion to the level of pressure control. We also explored which level of pressure control provided respiratory workloads similar to those after the extubation of the trachea.MethodsWhen seven post–cardiac surgery infants, aged 1 to 11 months, were to be weaned with the pressure-control PTV, we randomly applied five levels of pressure control: 0, 4, 8, 12, and 16 cm H2O. All patients were ventilated with assist–control mode, triggering sensitivity of 1 l/min, and positive end-expiratory pressure of 3 cm H2O. After establishing steady state conditions at each level of pressure control, arterial blood gases were analyzed and esophageal pressure (Pes), airway pressure, and airflow were measured. Inspiratory work of breathing (WOB) was calculated using a Campbell diagram. A modified pressure–time product (PTPmod) and the negative deflection of Pes were calculated from the Pes tracing below the baseline. The measurement was repeated after extubation.ResultsPressure-control PTV supported every spontaneous breath. By decreasing the level of pressure control, respiratory rate increased, tidal volume decreased, and as a result, minute ventilation and arterial carbon dioxide partial pressure were maintained stable. The WOB, PTPmod, and negative deflection of Pes increased as pressure control level was decreased. The WOB and PTPmod at 4 cm H2O pressure control and 0 cm H2O pressure control and after extubation were significantly greater than those at the pressure control of 16, 12, and 8 cm H2O (P < 0.05). The WOB and PTPmod were almost equivalent after extubation and at 4 cm H2O pressure control.ConclusionsWork of breathing and PTPmod were changed according to the pressure control level in post–cardiac surgery infants. PTV may be feasible in infants as well as in adults.

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