Objective: To describe and evaluate the effects of the new noisy pressure support ventilation (noisy PSV) on lung physiologic variables.
Design: Crossover design with four modes of mechanical ventilation.
Setting: Experimental research facility of a university hospital.
Subjects: A total of 12 pigs weighing 25.0–36.5 kg.
Interventions: Animals were anesthetized, the trachea was intubated, and lungs were ventilated with a mechanical ventilator (volume-controlled mode). Acute lung injury was then induced by surfactant depletion. Biphasic intermittent airway pressure/airway pressure release ventilation (BIPAP/APRV) was initiated, and anesthesia depth was decreased to allow spontaneous breathing. After that, each animal was ventilated with four different modes of assisted mechanical ventilation (1 hr each, Latin squares sequence): 1) PSV, 2) PSV combined with intermittent sighs (PSV + Sighs), 3) BIPAP/APRV + spontaneous breathing, and 4) noisy PSV with random variation of pressure support (normal distribution). The mean level of pressure support was set identical in all PSV forms.
Measurements and Main Results: We found that noisy PSV increased tidal volume variability compared with PSV and PSV + Sighs (19% vs. 5% and 7%, respectively, p < .05) independently from the inspiratory effort; improved oxygenation and reduced venous admixture but did not affect the amount of nonaerated lung tissue as compared with other assisted ventilation modes; reduced mean airway pressure at comparable minute ventilation; redistributed pulmonary blood flow toward nondependent lung regions similar to other PSV forms, whereas BIPAP/APRV + spontaneous breathing did not; and reduced the inspiratory effort and cardiac output in comparison with BIPAP/APRV + spontaneous breathing.
Conclusions: In the surfactant depletion model of acute lung injury, the new noisy PSV increased the variability of the respiratory pattern and improved oxygenation by a redistribution of perfusion toward the ventilated nondependent lung regions with simultaneous lower mean airway pressure, comparable minute ventilation, and no increase in the inspiratory effort or cardiac output.