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Comparison of low and high positive end-expiratory pressure during low tidal volume ventilation in robotic gynaecological surgical patients using electrical impedance tomography

A randomised controlled trial

Chun, Eun Hee; Baik, Hee Jung; Moon, Hye-Sung; Jeong, Kyungah

European Journal of Anaesthesiology (EJA): September 2019 - Volume 36 - Issue 9 - p 641–648
doi: 10.1097/EJA.0000000000001047

BACKGROUND The appropriate level of positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) during intra-operative mechanical ventilation remains unclear.

OBJECTIVE The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of different levels of PEEP with low tidal volume (low-VT) ventilation in a steep Trendelenburg position (30°) and pneumoperitoneum on oxygenation, respiratory mechanics and ventilation distribution using electrical impedance tomography.

DESIGN A randomised controlled trial.

SETTING Single university secondary care centre, conducted from January 2017 to December 2017.

PATIENTS Forty female patients, aged 20 to 60 years, and of American Society of Anesthesiologists’ (ASA) physical status 1 or 2, undergoing elective robotic gynaecological surgery were included.

INTERVENTION Forty patients were allocated randomly to a PEEP4 (PEEP 4 cmH2O) group or a PEEP8 (PEEP 8 cmH2O) group.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES The primary outcomes were respiratory mechanics. The secondary outcomes included changes in ventilation distribution across the ventral and dorsal regions of interest and postoperative pulmonary complications (PPCs) using a modified clinical pulmonary infection score.

RESULTS There was no difference in PaO2 at any time point. The peak inspiratory pressure (PIP) and mean airway pressure (MPAW) of the PEEP4 group were lower than those of the PEEP8 group (P < 0.001). The oxygenation factor in the PEEP4 group was higher than that in the PEEP8 group during mechanical ventilation at all times. There was no difference in the fractional distribution of end-expiratory ventilation according to region of interest between the two groups.

CONCLUSION Both 4 and 8 cmH2O of PEEP with low-VT ventilation can be used for robotic gynaecological surgery that requires a steep Trendelenburg position and pneumoperitoneum. However, 8 cmH2O of PEEP had no benefit over 4 cmH2O of PEEP with respect to oxygenation and improvement of dorsal regional ventilation.

TRIAL REGISTRATION The trial was registered at the Clinical Trial Registry of Korea (KCT0002255).

From the Department of Anaesthesiology and Pain Medicine, College of Medicine, Ewha Womans University (HJB), Department of Anaesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Kangnam Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine (EHC), and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Medicine, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Republic of Korea (HM, KJ)

Correspondence to Hee Jung Baik, MD, PhD, Department of Anaesthesiology and Pain Medicine, College of Medicine, Ewha Womans University, 1071 Anyangcheon-ro, Yangcheon-gu, Seoul 07985, Republic of Korea Tel: +82 2 2650 2868; fax: +82 2 2655 2924; e-mail:

Published online 11 July 2019

© 2019 European Society of Anaesthesiology