Neurocritical Care

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 623–633

High-Frequency Oscillation as a Rescue Strategy for Brain-Injured Adult Patients with Acute Lung Injury and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Review Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12028-011-9550-7

Cite this article as:
Young, N.H. & Andrews, P.J.D. Neurocrit Care (2011) 15: 623. doi:10.1007/s12028-011-9550-7


Acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) occur frequently in brain-injured patients. Single organ dysfunction ventilator strategies result in a conflict between lung protective ventilation and the prevention of secondary neurological insult(s). The objectives of this study were to determine if clinical and physiological benefits of high-frequency oscillatory ventilation (HFOV) exist compared to conventional ventilation and to determine what data there are on the effects of HFOV on cerebral perfusion pressure and intracranial pressure. Systematic review was designed. An optimally sensitive search strategy was used that included; OVID MEDLINE, OVID EMBASE, Cochrane Clinical Trials Register, and hand searching of references of retrieved articles and proceedings of meetings. Study selection includes published randomized controlled trials comparing HFOV with conventional ventilation in adults with ARDS and observational studies of the use of HFOV in adults with ARDS and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Both authors reviewed all trials. A data extraction form was used. In adults with ARDS no mortality benefit has been shown with HFOV, oxygenation improves, arterial partial pressure of CO2 may increase and there is no change in mean arterial blood pressure. There are few data describing HFOV in adults with TBI. In the small, low quality, studies that have been reported there have not been uncontrollable changes in intracranial pressure. HFOV has not been shown to have any mortality benefit in adults with ARDS. There are insufficient data to clarify the role, or safety, of HFOV in adults with TBI and concurrent ARDS.


Traumatic brain injury Acute respiratory distress syndrome Acute lung injury High-frequency oscillatory ventilation 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anaesthesia, Critical Care and Pain MedicineWestern General HospitalEdinburghUK
  2. 2.Centre for Clinical Brain SciencesUniversity of Edinburgh & NHS Lothian, Western General HospitalEdinburghUK

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