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Low-tidal-volume ventilation may be associated with repetitive opening and closing of terminal airways. The use of PEEP is intended to keep the alveoli open. No method of adjusting the optimal PEEP has shown to be superior or to improve clinical outcomes. We conducted a pilot study to evaluate the effect of setting an individualized level of PEEP at the highest compliance on oxygenation, multiple-organ-dysfunction, and survival in subjects with ARDS. Subjects with ARDS ventilated with low tidal volumes and limitation of airway pressure to 30 cm H2O were randomized to either a compliance-guided PEEP group or an FIO2-guided group. Of the 159 patients with ARDS admitted during the study period, 70 met the inclusion criteria. Subjects in the compliance-guided group showed nonsignificant improvements in PaO2/FIO2 during the first 14 days, and in 28-day mortality (20.6% vs. 38.9%, P = .12). Multiple-organ-dysfunction-free days (median 6 vs 20.5 d, P = .02), respiratory-failure-free days (median 7.5 vs 14.5 d, P = .03), and hemodynamic-failure-free days (median 16 vs 22 d, P = .04) at 28 days were significantly lower in subjects with compliance-guided setting of PEEP. In ARDS subjects, protective mechanical ventilation with PEEP application according to the highest compliance was associated with less organ dysfunction and a strong nonsignificant trend toward lower mortality. Number NCT01119872.


María-Consuelo Pintado, Raúl de Pablo, María Trascasa, José-María Milicua, Santiago Rogero, Martín Daguerre, José-Andrés Cambronero, Ignacio Arribas, Miguel Sánchez-García. Individualized PEEP Setting in Subjects With ARDS: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study. Respiratory care. 2013 Sep;58(9):1416-23

PMID: 23362167

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