Open lung concept in high risk anaesthesia : Optimizing mechanical ventilation in morbidly obese patients and during one lung ventilation with capnothorax

Abstract: Formation of atelectasis, defined as reversible collapse of aerated lung, often occurs after induction of anaesthesia with mechanical ventilation. As a consequence, there is a risk for hypoxemia, altered hemodynamics and impaired respiratory system mechanics. In certain situations, the risk for atelectasis formation is increased and its consequences may also be more difficult to manage. Anesthesia for bariatric surgery in morbidly obese patients and surgery requiring one-lung ventilation (OLV) with capnothorax are examples of such situations.In Paper I (30 patients with BMI > 40 kg/m2 scheduled for bariatric surgery) a recruit­ment maneuver followed by positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) re­duced the amount of atelectasis and improved oxygenation for a prolonged period of time. PEEP or a recruitment maneuver alone did not reduce the amount of atelectasis.In paper II we investigated whether it is possible to predict respiratory function impairment in morbidly obese patients without pulmonary disease from a preoperative lung function test. Patients with mild signs of airway obstruction (reduced end-expiratory flow) in the preoperative spirometry developed less atelectasis during anaesthesia.In paper III we developed an experimental model of sequential OLV with capnothorax using electrical impedance tomography (EIT) that in real-time detected lung separation and dynamic changes in pulmonary ventilation and perfusion distributions. OLV to the left side caused a decrease in cardiac output, arterial oxygenation and mixed venous saturation.In paper IV we used our model of OLV with capnothorax and applied a CO2-insufflation pressure of 16 cm H2O. We demonstrated that a PEEP level of 12-16 cm H2O is needed for optimal oxygenation and lowest possible driving pressure without compromising hemodynamic variables. Thus, the optimal PEEP was closely related to the level of the capnothorax insufflation pressure. With insufficient PEEP, ventilation/perfusion mismatch in the ventilated lung and redistribution of blood flow to the non-ventilated lung occurred.