Mechanical ventilation in neurocritical care setting: A clinical approach

Denise Battaglini, Dorota Siwicka Gieroba, Iole Brunetti, Nicolò Patroniti, Giulia Bonatti, Patricia Rieken Macedo Rocco, Paolo Pelosi, Chiara Robba

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Neuropatients often require invasive mechanical ventilation (MV). Ideal ventilator settings and respiratory targets in neuro patients are unclear. Current knowledge suggests maintaining protective tidal volumes of 6–8 ml/kg of predicted body weight in neuropatients. This approach may reduce the rate of pulmonary complications, although it cannot be easily applied in a neuro setting due to the need for special care to minimize the risk of secondary brain damage. Additionally, the weaning process from MV is particularly challenging in these patients who cannot control the brain respiratory patterns and protect airways from aspiration. Indeed, extubation failure in neuropatients is very high, while tracheostomy is needed in one-third of the patients. The aim of this manuscript is to review and describe the current management of invasive MV, weaning, and tracheostomy for the main four subpopulations of neuro patients: traumatic brain injury, acute ischemic stroke, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and intracerebral hemorrhage.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBest Practice and Research: Clinical Anaesthesiology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • acute brain injury
  • mechanical ventilation
  • neurocritical care
  • tracheostomy
  • weaning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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