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Clinical Investigations in Critical Care |

Esophageal-Directed Pressure Support Ventilation in Normal Volunteers*

Mathew Barnard, MBBS; Avinash Shukla, MBBS; Tim Lovell, MBBS; John Goldstone, MBBS
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*From the Department of Anaesthesia, University College London Medical School, London, UK.



Chest. 1999;115(2):482-489. doi:10.1378/chest.115.2.482
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Study objectives: To ascertain whether inspiratory pressure support (IPS) can be triggered reliably from and targeted at esophageal pressures (Pes), and to compare the work of breathing and time delay to initiation of inspiratory flow between conventional pressure support and esophageal-directed pressure support (EDPS).

Design: Prospective laboratory study.

Setting: University medical school.

Patients or participants: Five normal volunteers.

Interventions: IPS at a level to achieve tidal volume of 10 mL/kg, and EDPS with a target Pes of 0 cm H2O via full facemask.

Measurements and results: Pes, airway pressure, and inspiratory flow were measured during spontaneous breathing. Peak Pes and pressure time product (PTP) of Pes were calculated during spontaneous breathing and through linear resistances. Measurements were repeated during IPS and EDPS ventilation. At rest, PTP was 7.56 (± 3.6) and peak Pes was −5.8 cm H2O (± 1.44). When subjects were breathing through the resistors, PTP increased to 12.4 (± 8.1) and 30.3 (± 8.9) and peak Pes decreased to −7.2 and −15.3 cm H2O respectively. With facemask IPS, unloaded PTP fell to 1.7 (± 1.3) and peak Pes fell to −3.3 cm H2O (± 1.3). When ventilated through the highest resistance with IPS, mean PTP increased to 21.9 and peak Pes increased to −11.9 (± 4.2) cm H2O relative to baseline. During EDPS with the resistor, PTP fell to 1.5 ± 1.1 (p < 0.007) and peak Pes fell to −1.9 ± 1.1 cm H2O (p < 0.0001).

Conclusions: It was possible to initiate supported breathing from Pes values. The work performed, as measured by PTP, was lower during EDPS than during either unsupported breathing or conventional IPS.

Abbreviations: EDPS = esophageal-directed pressure support; IPS = inspiratory pressure support; PEEP = positive end-expiratory pressure; Pes = esophageal pressure; PTP = pressure time product

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