Purpose of review
Complications of mechanical ventilation, such as ventilator-induced lung injury (VILI) and ventilator-induced diaphragmatic dysfunction (VIDD), adversely affect the outcome of critically ill patients. Although mostly studied during control ventilation, it is increasingly appreciated that VILI and VIDD also occur during assisted ventilation. Hence, current research focuses on identifying ways to monitor and deliver protective ventilation in assisted modes. This review describes the operating principles of proportional modes of assist, their implications for lung and diaphragm protective ventilation, and the supporting clinical data.
Proportional modes of assist, proportional assist ventilation, PAV, and neurally adjusted ventilatory assist, NAVA, deliver a pressure assist that is proportional to the patient's effort, enabling ventilation to be better controlled by the patient's brain. This control underlies the potential of proportional modes to avoid over-assist and under-assist, improve patient--ventilator interaction, and provide protective ventilation. Indeed, in clinical studies, proportional modes have been associated with reduced asynchronies, enhanced diaphragmatic recovery, and limitation of excessive tidal volume. Additionally, proportional modes facilitate better monitoring of the delivery of protective assisted ventilation.
Physiological rationale and clinical data suggest a potential role for proportional modes of assist in providing and monitoring lung and diaphragm protective ventilation.