JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

[Invasive mechanical ventilation in COPD and asthma]

E García Vicente, J C Sandoval Almengor, L A Díaz Caballero, J C Salgado Campo
Medicina Intensiva 2011, 35 (5): 288-98
21216495
COPD and asthmatic patients use a substantial proportion of mechanical ventilation in the ICU, and their overall mortality with ventilatory support can be significant. From the pathophysiological standpoint, they have increased airway resistance, pulmonary hyperinflation, and high pulmonary dead space, leading to increased work of breathing. If ventilatory demand exceeds work output of the respiratory muscles, acute respiratory failure follows. The main goal of mechanical ventilation in this kind of patients is to improve pulmonary gas exchange and to allow for sufficient rest of compromised respiratory muscles to recover from the fatigued state. The current evidence supports the use of noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation for these patients (especially in COPD), but invasive ventilation also is required frequently in patients who have more severe disease. The physician must be cautious to avoid complications related to mechanical ventilation during ventilatory support. One major cause of the morbidity and mortality arising during mechanical ventilation in these patients is excessive dynamic pulmonary hyperinflation (DH) with intrinsic positive end-expiratory pressure (intrinsic PEEP or auto-PEEP). The purpose of this article is to provide a concise update of the most relevant aspects for the optimal ventilatory management in these patients.

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