Model-based optimal PEEP in mechanically ventilated ARDS patients in the Intensive Care Unit

Ashwath Sundaresan, J. G. Chase, Geoffrey M. Shaw, Yeong Shiong Chiew, Thomas Desaive

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Background: The optimal level of positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) is still widely debated in treating acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) patients. Current methods of selecting PEEP only provide a range of values and do not provide unique patient-specific solutions. Model-based methods offer a novel way of using non-invasive pressure-volume (PV) measurements to estimate patient recruitability. This paper examines the clinical viability of such models in pilot clinical trials to assist therapy, optimise patient-specific PEEP, assess the disease state and response over time.Methods: Ten patients with acute lung injury or ARDS underwent incremental PEEP recruitment manoeuvres. PV data was measured at increments of 5 cmH2O and fitted to the recruitment model. Inspiratory and expiratory breath holds were performed to measure airway resistance and auto-PEEP. Three model-based metrics are used to optimise PEEP based on opening pressures, closing pressures and net recruitment. ARDS status was assessed by model parameters capturing recruitment and compliance.Results: Median model fitting error across all patients for inflation and deflation was 2.8% and 1.02% respectively with all patients experiencing auto-PEEP. In all three metrics' cases, model-based optimal PEEP was higher than clinically selected PEEP. Two patients underwent multiple recruitment manoeuvres over time and model metrics reflected and tracked the state or their ARDS.Conclusions: For ARDS patients, the model-based method presented in this paper provides a unique, non-invasive method to select optimal patient-specific PEEP. In addition, the model has the capability to assess disease state over time using these same models and methods.

Original languageEnglish
Article number64
JournalBioMedical Engineering Online
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • ARDS
  • Mechanical Ventilation
  • Model Based Methods
  • PEEP

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