, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 1047-1050
Date: 30 Mar 2004

Cyclic changes in arterial pressure during mechanical ventilation

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For a given level of arterial distensibility, the amplitude of the arterial pulse is directly related to the left ventricular (LV) stroke volume. Thus, rapid changes in arterial pulse pressure, the difference between systolic and diastolic pressures, essentially reflect changes in LV stroke volume.

During mechanical ventilation, cyclic inspiratory increases in pleural pressure are transmitted to the intrathoracic aorta, resulting in a cyclic inspiratory increase in arterial pressure [1]. However, this transmission of pleural pressure produces a similar increase in both systolic and diastolic pressures, and does not increase the arterial pulse pressure.

Cyclic changes in arterial pulse pressure during positive-pressure ventilation, in patients ventilated on controlled mode and without spontaneous breathing, can be described as a succession of inspiratory increases, followed by expiratory decreases [2]. The inspiratory increase in systolic arterial pressure observed in this setting has als