Sigh in acute respiratory distress syndrome

Paolo Pelosi, Paolo Cadringher, Nicola Bottino, Mauro Panigada, Fabiola Carrieri, Elena Riva, Alfredo Lissoni, Luciano Gattinoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Mechanical ventilation with plateau pressure lower than 35 cm H20 and high positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) has been recommended as lung protective strategy. Ten patients with ARDS (five from pulmonary [p] and five from extrapulmonary [exp] origin), underwent 2 h of lung protective strategy, 1 h of lung protective strategy with three consecutive sighs/min at 45 cm H2O plateau pressure, and 1 h of lung protective strategy. Total minute ventilation, PEEP (14.0 ± 2.2 (m H2O), inspiratory oxygen fraction, and mean airway pressure were kept constant. After 1 h of sigh we found that: (1) Pa(O2) increased (from 92.8 ± 18.6 to 137.6 ± 23.9 mm Hg, p <0.01), venous admixture and Pa(CO2) decreased (from 38 ±12 to 28 ± 14%, p <0.01; and from 52.7 ± 19.4 to 49.1 ± 18.4 mm Hg, p <0.05, respectively); (2) end-expiratory lung volume increased (from 1.49 ± 0.58 to 1.91 ± 0.67 L, p <0.01), and was significantly correlated with the oxygenation (r = 0.82, p <0.01) and lung elastance (r = 0.76, p <0.01) improvement. Sigh was more effective in ARDSexp than in ARDSp. After 1 h of sigh interruption, all the physiologic variables returned to baseline. The derecruitment was correlated with Pa(CO2) (r - 3.86, p <0.01). We conclude that: (1) lung protective strategy alone at the PEEP level used in this study may not provide full lung recruitment and best oxygenation; (2) application of sigh during lung protective strategy may improve recruitment and oxygenation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)872-880
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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    Pelosi, P., Cadringher, P., Bottino, N., Panigada, M., Carrieri, F., Riva, E., Lissoni, A., & Gattinoni, L. (1999). Sigh in acute respiratory distress syndrome. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 159(3), 872-880.