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Open Access Research

Measurement of alveolar derecruitment in patients with acute lung injury: computerized tomography versus pressure–volume curve

Qin Lu16, Jean-Michel Constantin26, Ania Nieszkowska36, Marilia Elman46, Silvia Vieira56 and Jean-Jacques Rouby16*

Author Affiliations

1 Surgical Intensive Care Unit Pierre Viars, Department of Anesthesiology, Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris, La Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, 47-83 boulevard de l'Hôpital 75013 Paris, France

2 Surgical Intensive Care Unit, Hôtel-Dieu Hospital, Centre Hospitalo-Universitaire de Clermont Ferrand, boulevard Léon Malfreyt 63058 Clemont Ferrand cedex, France

3 Medical Intensive Care Unit, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, La Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, 47-83 boulevard de l'Hôpital 75013 Paris, France

4 Department of Anesthesiology of Santa Casa de Misericordia de São Paulo, Faculdade de Ciências Médicas da Santa Casa de São Paulo, Rua Dr Sesario Mota Jr, 61, Santa Cecilia/São Paulo – 01221-020 – Brazil

5 Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Federal University from Rio Grande do Sul, Intensive Care Unit, Hospital de Clinicas de Porto Alegre, Rua Ramiro Barcelos, 2350 – 90035-903 Porto Alegre/Rio Grande do Sul – Brazil

6 From the Surgical Intensive Care Unit Pierre Viars, Department of Anesthesiology, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, La Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, University School of Medicine Pierre et Marie Curie

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Critical Care 2006, 10:R95  doi:10.1186/cc4956


See related commentary by De Michele & Grasso, http://ccforum.com.content/10/4/148

Published: 22 June 2006

Abstract

Introduction

Positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP)-induced lung derecruitment can be assessed by a pressure–volume (P–V) curve method or by lung computed tomography (CT). However, only the first method can be used at the bedside. The aim of the study was to compare both methods for assessing alveolar derecruitment after the removal of PEEP in patients with acute lung injury or acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Methods

P–V curves (constant-flow method) and spiral CT scans of the whole lung were performed at PEEPs of 15 and 0 cmH2O in 19 patients with acute lung injury or acute respiratory distress syndrome. Alveolar derecruitment was defined as the difference in lung volume measured at an airway pressure of 15 cmH2O on P–V curves performed at PEEPs of 15 and 0 cmH2O, and as the difference in the CT volume of gas present in poorly aerated and nonaerated lung regions at PEEPs of 15 and 0 cmH2O.

Results

Alveolar derecruitments measured by the CT and P–V curve methods were 373 ± 250 and 345 ± 208 ml (p = 0.14), respectively. Measurements by both methods were tightly correlated (R = 0.82, p < 0.0001). The derecruited volume measured by the P–V curve method had a bias of -14 ml and limits of agreement of between -158 and +130 ml in comparison with the average derecruited volume of the CT and P–V curve methods.

Conclusion

Alveolar derecruitment measured by the CT and P–V curve methods are tightly correlated. However, the large limits of agreement indicate that the P–V curve and the CT method are not interchangeable.