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Online ISSN 1827-1596
THE PRESSURE-VOLUME CURVE
Lu Q., Rouby J. J.
From the Surgical Intensive Care Unit “Pierre Viars” Department of Anesthesiology La Pitié -Salpêtrière Hospital University of Paris VI, Paris, France
In critically ill patients measurements of pressure volume curves has been suggested as a method for assessing the severity of lung injury and for monitoring the evolution of the lung disease; it can also guide the ventilatory adjustments to optimize the mechanical ventilation. The static pressure-volume curves are impaired in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The evaluation of the lower and upper inflection point on the pressure-volumes curves at the bedside of patients with acute respiratory failure means to apply a “protective ventilatory strategy”. The combined application of positive end expiratory pressure (PEEP) to the level of alveolar recruitment and low tidal volume (<6ml/kg) ameliorates the lung function and decrease mortality in ARDS patients. Routine monitoring with continous technique is easy and developes good therapeutic practice.