Traditional mechanical ventilation practices used generous tidal volumes in patients with acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ALI/ARDS). This approach may have caused overdistention of aerated lung units, thus exacerbating lung injury in some patients. Several recent clinical trials of traditional versus lower tidal volume strategies in ALI/ARDS yielded disparate results. In the largest study, the lower tidal volume approach was associated with lower mortality and more ventilator-free days. This article reviews the rationale for tidal volume reduction in ALI/ARDS and the differences between the studies. Several different interpretations of the recent clinical trial results are addressed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine