Impact of acute hypercapnia and augmented positive end-expiratory pressure on right ventricle function in severe acute respiratory distress syndrome
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To evaluate the effects of acute hypercapnia induced by positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) variations at constant plateau pressure (P plat) in patients with severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) on right ventricular (RV) function.
Prospective observational study in two academic intensive care units enrolling 11 adults with severe ARDS (PaO2/FiO2 <150 mmHg at PEEP >5 cmH2O). We compared three ventilatory strategies, each used for 1 h, with P plat at 22 (20–25) cmH2O: low PEEP (5.4 cmH2O) or high PEEP (11.0 cmH2O) with compensation of the tidal volume reduction by either a high respiratory rate (high PEEP/high rate) or instrumental dead space decrease (high PEEP/low rate). We assessed RV function (transesophageal echocardiography), alveolar dead space (expired CO2), and alveolar recruitment (pressure–volume curves).
Compared to low PEEP, PaO2/FiO2 ratio and alveolar recruitment were increased with high PEEP. Alveolar dead space remained unchanged. Both high-PEEP strategies induced higher PaCO2 levels [71 (60–94) and 75 (53–84), vs. 52 (43–68) mmHg] and lower pH values [7.17 (7.12–7.23) and 7.20 (7.16–7.25) vs. 7.30 (7.24–7.35)], as well as RV dilatation, LV deformation and a significant decrease in cardiac index. The decrease in stroke index tended to be negatively correlated to the increase in alveolar recruitment with high PEEP.
Acidosis and hypercapnia induced by tidal volume reduction and increase in PEEP at constant P plat were associated with impaired RV function and hemodynamics despite positive effects on oxygenation and alveolar recruitment (ClinicalTrials.gov #NCT00236262).
KeywordsLung injury Acidosis Right heart Alveolar recruitment Alveolar dead space
We thank Patrick Maison (Unité de Recherche Clinique, Hôpital Henri Mondor, Créteil, France) for valuable statistical advice in interpreting the data. This study was funded by the nonprofit public organization Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris.
Conflict of interest statement
No potential conflict of interest to disclose.
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