Intra-operative protective mechanical ventilation in lung transplantation: a randomised, controlled trial

G L Verbeek, P S Myles, G. P. Westall, E Lin, S. L. Hastings, S. F. Marasco, J. Jaffar, A C Meehan

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25 Citations (Scopus)


Primary graft dysfunction occurs in up to 25% of patients after lung transplantation. Contributing factors include ventilator-induced lung injury, cardiopulmonary bypass, ischaemia-reperfusion injury and excessive fluid administration. We evaluated the feasibility, safety and efficacy of an open-lung protective ventilation strategy aimed at reducing ventilator-induced lung injury. We enrolled adult patients scheduled to undergo bilateral sequential lung transplantation, and randomly assigned them to either a control group (volume-controlled ventilation with 5 cmH2O, positive end-expiratory pressure, low tidal volumes (two-lung ventilation 6−1, one-lung ventilation 4−1)) or an alveolar recruitment group (regular step-wise positive end-expiratory pressure-based alveolar recruitment manoeuvres, pressure-controlled ventilation set at 16 cmH2O with 10 cmH2O positive end-expiratory pressure). Ventilation strategies were commenced from reperfusion of the first lung allograft and continued for the duration of surgery. Regular PaO2/FIO2 ratios were calculated and venous blood samples collected for inflammatory marker evaluation during the procedure and for the first 24 h of intensive care stay. The primary end-point was the PaO2/FIO2 ratio at 24 h after first lung reperfusion. Thirty adult patients were studied. The primary outcome was not different between groups (mean (SD) PaO2/FIO2 ratio control group 340 (111) vs. alveolar recruitment group 404 (153); adjusted p = 0.26). Patients in the control group had poorer mean (SD) PaO2/FIO2 ratios at the end of the surgical procedure and a longer median (IQR [range]) time to tracheal extubation compared with the alveolar recruitment group (308 (144) vs. 402 (154) (p = 0.03) and 18 (10–27 [5–468]) h vs. 15 (11–36 [5–115]) h (p = 0.01), respectively). An open-lung protective ventilation strategy during surgery for lung transplantation is feasible, safe and achieves favourable ventilation parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)993-1004
Number of pages12
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • lung protection ventilation
  • lungs: management
  • organ donor
  • ventilator: low tidal volume

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