To calculate imposed work of breathing during simulated spontaneous breathing at a given tidal volume across the range of normal length or shortened pediatric endotracheal tube sizes and endotracheal tubes with an intraluminal catheter in situ.
In vitro study.
A bench model (normal compliance, no airway resistance) simulating sinusoid flow spontaneous breathing used to calculate imposed work of breathing for various endotracheal tube sizes (3.0–7.5 mm). Imposed work of breathing was calculated by integrating inspiratory tidal volume over the end-expiratory difference between the positive end-expiratory pressure and the tracheal pressure. Measurements were taken at different combinations of set spontaneous tidal volume (2.5, 5.0, 7.5, and 10 mL/kg), age-appropriate inspiratory times, length of endotracheal tube, and presence of intraluminal catheter.
Measurements and Main Results:
Overall median imposed work of breathing (Joules/L) was not significantly different between the four age groups: 0.047 Joules/L (interquartile range, 0.020–0.074 Joules/L) for newborns, 0.077 Joules/L (interquartile range, 0.032–0.127 Joules/L) for infants, 0.109 Joules/L (interquartile range, 0.0399–0.193 Joules/L) for small children, and 0.077 Joules/L (interquartile range, 0.032–0.132 Joules/L) for adolescents. Shortening the endotracheal tubes resulted in a significant difference in reduction in overall imposed work of breathing, but the absolute reduction was most notable in small children (0.030 Joules/L) and the least effect in neonates (0.016 Joules/L). Overall imposed work of breathing increased in each age group when an intraluminal catheter was in situ: 91.09% increase in imposed work of breathing in neonates to 0.168 Joules/L, 84.98% in infants to 0.142 Joules/L, 81.98% in small children to 0.219 Joules/L, and 55.45% in adolescents to 0.140 Joules/L.
Calculated imposed work of breathing were not different across the range of endotracheal tube sizes. The low imposed work of breathing values found in this study might be appreciated as clinically irrelevant. Our findings add to the change in reasoning that it is appropriate to perform spontaneous breathing trials without pressure support. Nonetheless, our findings on the measured imposed work of breathing values need to be confirmed in a clinical study.