Measurement of respiratory system resistance during mechanical ventilation

  • Claude Guerin
  • Jean-Christophe Richard


Background: The measurement of respiratory system resistance during mechanical ventilation is important to ascertain the causes of increase in airway pressure during volume-controlled ventilation, which may include airways resistance and decreased respiratory system compliance.

Discussion: Separation of total resistance from compliance of the respiratory system can be assessed by the end-inspiratory hold maneuver that separates peak pressure from plateau pressure.

Conclusions: Although this method assumes a homogeneous respiratory system, it has proven useful clinically to separate flow-dependence issues such as bronchospasm or endotracheal tube obstruction from stiff lungs (acute lung injury) or decrease chest wall (abdominal distension) compliance.


Airway pressure Mechanical ventilation Respiratory system compliance Respiratory system resistance 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claude Guerin
    • 1
  • Jean-Christophe Richard
    • 2
  1. 1.HÔpital de la Croix Rousse and Université de LyonService de Réanimation MédicaleFrance
  2. 2.HÔpital de la Croix Rousse and Université de LyonService de Réanimation MédicaleFrance

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