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    The use of extra-positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) at a level of 80% intrinsic-PEEP (iPEEP) to improve ventilation in severe asthma patients with control ventilation remains controversial. Electrical impedance tomography (EIT) may provide regional information for determining the optimal extra-PEEP to overcome gas trapping and distribution. Moreover, the experience of using EIT to determine extra-PEEP in severe asthma patients with controlled ventilation is limited. A severe asthma patient had 12-cmH2O iPEEP using the end-expiratory airway occlusion method at Zero positive end-expiratory pressures (ZEEP). How to titrate the extra-PEEP to against iPEEP at bedside? An incremental PEEP titration was performed in the severe asthma patient with mechanical ventilation. An occult pendelluft phenomenon of the ventral and dorsal regions was found during the early and late expiration periods when the extra-PEEP was set to <6 cmH2O. If the extra-PEEP was elevated from 4 to 6 cmH2O, a decrease in the end-expiratory lung impedance (EELI) and a disappearance of the pendelluft phenomenon were observed during the PEEP titration. Moreover, there was broad disagreement as to the "best" extra-PEEP settings according to the various EIT parameters. The regional ventilation delay had the lowest extra-PEEP value (10 cmH2O), whereas the value was 12 cmH2O for the lung collapse/overdistension index and 14 cmH2O for global inhomogeneity. The extra-PEEP was set at 6 cmH2O, and the severe whistling sound was improved. The patient's condition further became better under the integrated therapy. A broad literature review shows that this was the 3rd case of using EIT to titrate an extra-PEEP to against PEEPi. Importantly, the visualization of occult pendelluft and possible air release during incremental PEEP titration was documented for the first time during incremental PEEP titration in patients with severe asthma. Examining the presence of the occult pendelluft phenomenon and changes in the EELI by EIT might be an alternative means for determining an individual's extra-PEEP.


    Huaiwu He, Siyi Yuan, Chi Yi, Yun Long, Rui Zhang, Zhanqi Zhao. Titration of extra-PEEP against intrinsic-PEEP in severe asthma by electrical impedance tomography: A case report and literature review. Medicine. 2020 Jun 26;99(26):e20891

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    PMID: 32590795

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