JOURNAL ARTICLE

Large tidal volume ventilation does not improve oxygenation in morbidly obese patients during anesthesia

G I Bardoczky, J C Yernault, J J Houben, A A d'Hollander
Anesthesia and Analgesia 1995, 81 (2): 385-8
7618732
Eight morbidly obese patients (body mass index [BMI] = 46) were studied during general anesthesia and controlled mechanical ventilation. To evaluate the effect of large tidal volume ventilation on oxygenation and ventilation, the baseline 13 mL/kg tidal volume (VT) (calculated by the ideal body weight) was increased in 3 mL/kg volume increments to 22 mL/kg, while ventilatory rate (RR) and inspiratory time (TI) were kept constant. Each volume increment was maintained for 15 min. Gas exchange was assessed by measuring the arterial blood oxygen tensions, and calculating the indices of alveolar-arterial oxygen tension difference [P(A-a)O2] and arterial/alveolar oxygen tension ratio (a/A). Peak inspiratory airway pressure (Ppeak), end-inspiratory airway pressure (Pplateau), and compliance of the respiratory system (CRS) were recorded using the Capnomac Ultima (Datex, Helsinki, Finland) on-line respiratory monitor. Increasing tidal volumes to 22 mL/kg increased the recorded Ppeak (26.3 +/- 4.1 vs 37.9 +/- 3.2 cm H2O, P < 0.008), Pplateau (21.5 +/- 3.6 vs 27.7 +/- 4.3 cm H2O, P < 0.01), and CRS (39.8 +/- 7.7 vs 48.5 +/- 8.3 mL/cm H2O) significantly without improving arterial oxygen tension and resulted in severe hypocapnia. Since changes in arterial oxygenation were small and not statistically significant, mechanical ventilation of morbidly obese patients with large VTS seems to offer no advantage to smaller (13 mL/kg ideal body weight) VTS.

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