Hemodynamic Effects of Lung Function Optimization in Experimental Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Abstract: Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) is a severe pulmonary inflammation affecting thousands of patients every year in Sweden and has a mortality of 30-50%. Mechanical ventilation (MV) is usually necessary, but could per se augment the inflammation and contribute to mortality. MV strategies protective for the lung parenchyma have been developed but without considering the pulmonary circulation or the right heart ventricle (RV) that also are affected in ARDS. MV should ideally be optimized to protect both the lung parenchyma and the RV/pulmonary vasculature. My hypothesis was that MV that prevents alveolar collapse and overdistension, i.e., the “open lung approach (OLA)” would be optimal. The aims of this project were 1) to carefully describe the pulmonary vascular mechanics (PVM) in ARDS compared with healthy lungs, 2) to assess how different ventilatory methods influence PVM, and 3) to propose a ventilatory method that protects both lung parenchyma and circulation.In a porcine model, high fidelity pressure and flow sensors were applied directly on the main pulmonary artery to evaluate steady and oscillatory components of PVM.  In this way a complete PVM description was obtained for normal and injured lungs at different MV. In particular, the effects of OLA were compared with standard MV and, in addition, with MV methods where overdistension or collapse were present.Results: 1) Compared with collapse or overdistension, OLA provided better PVM. 2) The effects on PVM of OLA and the standard protective MV were similar. 3) Early ARDS augmented the effects of pulse wave reflection on PVM leading to a situation in which the RV had to increase its work to maintain adequate blood flow. Thus, a part of this work was wasted by the effect of wave reflections, making the RV/pulmonary vasculature inefficient. 4) Tidal breathing affected PVM cyclically and this effect was enhanced in ARDS compared with healthy lungs.In conclusion, ARDS and different ventilatory methods, as well as tidal ventilation per se, affected PVM. OLA improved PVM compared with other MV settings where significant collapse and overdistension were allowed. However, OLA was not superior to standard protective MV.