Mechanical ventilatory modes and cardioventilatory phase synchronization in acute respiratory failure patients

C.E. Mazzucco, A. Marchi, V. Bari, B. De Maria, S. Guzzetti, F. Raimondi, E. Catena, D. Ottolina, C. Amadio, S. Cravero, T. Fossali, R. Colombo, A. Porta

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Cardioventilatory phase synchronization was studied in ten critically ill patients admitted in intensive care unit (ICU) for acute respiratory failure under two mechanical ventilatory modes: (i) pressure controlled ventilation (PCV); (ii) pressure support ventilation (PSV). The two modalities were administered to the same patient in different times in a random order. Cardioventilatory phase interactions were typified by plotting the relative position of a heartbeat, detected from the electrocardiogram and collected in n groups, within m ventilatory cycles as a function of the progressive cardiac beat number via the synchrogram. n:m phase synchronized patterns were detected by computing the variability of each phase group. The percent duration of the recording featuring phase synchronization was assessed as a measure of the strength of phase synchrony and tested against situations of full phase desynchronization between cardiac and ventilatory rhythms. Indexes quantifying the variability of the cardiac and ventilatory activities were computed as well. Findings proved that: (i) a significant presence of n:m phase synchronized patterns was detected in PCV; (ii) the strength of n:m phase synchronization was stronger during PCV than PSV; (iii) different strengths of cardioventilatory phase synchronization detected during PCV and PSV were found in presence of similar heart and ventilatory rates and alike variability. We conclude that mechanical ventilation can induce a significant presence of cardioventilatory phase synchronized patterns and this amount depends on the mode of mechanical ventilation. Future studies should test the eventual link of the level of phase coordination between heart and mechanical ventilation to a clinical outcome to understand whether featuring a certain degree of cardioventilatory phase synchronization is beneficial for the critical patient in ICU. © 2017 Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)895-911
Number of pages17
JournalPhysiological Measurement
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • cardiorespiratory coordination
  • intensive care unit
  • mechanical ventilation
  • phase locking
  • pressure controlled ventilation
  • pressure support ventilation
  • respiratory sinus arrhythmia
  • acute disease
  • adult respiratory distress syndrome
  • aged
  • artificial ventilation
  • electrocardiography
  • female
  • heart
  • human
  • male
  • middle aged
  • pathophysiology
  • pressure
  • procedures
  • signal processing
  • very elderly
  • Acute Disease
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Heart
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pressure
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Adult
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted


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