Impact of Different Inspiratory Flow Patterns on Arterial CO2-tension
Ventilation with decelerating inspiratory flow is known to reduce the dead space fraction and to decrease PaCO2. Constant inspiratory flow with an end-inspiratory pause (EIP) is also known to increase the removal of CO2.
The aim of the study was to elucidate the effect of the pause/no-flow period while both the pattern and rate of inspiratory flow was unchanged, and when the lung was ventilated with sufficient PEEP to prevent end-expiratory collapse.
Surfactant depleted piglets were assigned to decelerating or constant inspiratory flow with 24 breaths per minute (bpm) or 12 bpm, or to constant flow, without and with an end-inspiratory pause of 25%. By adding an EIP the total time without active inspiratory flow of the respiratory cycle was kept unchanged. Gas exchange, airway pressures, functional residual capacity (using sulfurhexafluoride) and haemodynamics (thermo-dye indicator dilution technique) were measured.
Irrespective of ventilatory frequency, PaCO2 was lower and serial dead space reduced with decelerating flow, compared with constant inspiratory flow. With an end-inspiratory pause added to constant inspiratory flow, serial dead space was reduced but did not decrease PaCO2.
The results of this study corroborate the assumption that total time without active inspiratory flow is important for arterial CO2-tension.
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