Minimal volume ventilation in lung injury With special reference to apnea and buffer treatment
Abstract: A fairly large portion of patients receiving surgical or intensive care will need mechanical ventilation at some point. The potential ventilator-induced lung injury (VILI) is thus of interest. One of the main causal factors in VILI is the cyclic energy shifts, i.e. tidal volumes, in the lung during mechanical ventilation. The problem can be approached in two ways. Firstly, one can utilize apneic oxygenation and thus not cause any tidal injuries at all. Secondly, and more traditionally, one can simply lower the tidal volumes and respiratory rates used. The following describes a series of animal experiments exploring these options.In the first two papers, I explored and improved upon the methodology of apneic oxygenation. There is a generally held belief that it is only possible to perform apneic oxygenation by prior denitrogenation and by using 100% oxygen during the apnea. As 100% oxygen is toxic, this has prevented apneic oxygenation from more widespread use. The first paper proves that it is indeed possible to perform apneic oxygenation with less than 100% oxygen. I also calculated the alveolar nitrogen concentration which would conversely give the alveolar oxygen concentration. The second paper addresses the second large limitation of apneic oxygenation, i.e. hypercapnia. Using a high dose infusion of tris(hydroxymethyl)aminomethane (THAM) buffer, a pH > 7.2 could be maintained during apneic oxygenation for more than 4.5 hours.In the last two papers, THAM’s properties as a proton acceptor are explored during respiratory acidosis caused by very low volume ventilation. In paper III, I found that THAM does not, in the long term, affect pH in respiratory acidosis after stopping the THAM infusion. It does, however, lower PVR, even though the PaCO2 of THAM-treated animals had rebounded to levels higher than that of the controls. In the last experiment, I used volumetric capnography to confirm our hypothesis that carbon dioxide elimination through the lungs was lower during the THAM infusion. Again, the PaCO2 rebounded after the THAM infusion had stopped and I concluded that renal elimination of protonated THAM was not sufficient.
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