Study objectives: To investigate the effects of endotracheal suction in volume-controlled ventilation (VCV) and pressure-controlled ventilation (PCV) with an open suction system (OSS) or a closed suction system (CSS).
Design: Randomized comparison.
Setting: Animal research laboratory.
Patients: Twelve healthy anesthetized pigs.
Interventions: The effects of endotracheal suction during VCV and PCV with tidal volume (Vt) of 14 mL/kg were compared. A 60-mm inner-diameter endotracheal tube was used. Ten-second suction was performed using OSS and CSS with 12F and 14F catheters connected to − 14 kPa vacuum.
Measurements and results: Thirty minutes after suction in PCV, Vt was still decreased by 27% (p < 0.001), compliance (Crs) by 28% (p < 0.001), and Pao2 by 26% (p < 0.001); Paco2 was increased by 42% (p < 0.0001) and venous admixture by 158% (p = 0.003). Suction in VCV affected only Crs (decreased by 23%, p < 0.001) and plateau pressure (increased by 24%, p < 0.001). The initial impairment of gas exchange following suction in VCV was no longer statistically significant after 30 min.
Conclusions: In conclusion, endotracheal suction causes lung collapse leading to impaired gas exchange, an effect that is more severe and persistent in PCV than in VCV.