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Correlation between extravascular lung water and oxygenation in ALI/ARDS patients in septic shock: Possible role in the development of atelectasis?

Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, University of Pecs, Pecs, Hungary


This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between PaO2/FiO2 ratio and extravascular lung water in septic shock- induced acute respiratory distress syndrome in a prospective observational clinical trial.

Twenty-three patients suffering from sepsis induced acute respiratory distress syndrome were recruited. All patients were ventilated in pressure control/support mode. Haemodynamic parameters were determined by arterial thermodilution (PiCCO) eight hourly for 72 hours. At the same time blood gas analyses were done and respiratory parameters were also recorded. Data are presented as mean±SD. For statistical analysis Pearson’s correlation test, and analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used respectively.

Significant negative correlation was found between extravascular lung water and PaO2/FiO2 (r= –0.355, P<0.001), and significant positive correlation was shown between extravascular lung water and PEEP (r=0.557, P<0.001). A post-hoc analysis was performed when “low” PEEP: <10 cmH2O and “high” PEEP: (10 cmH2O PEEP was applied, and neither the oxygenation, nor the driving pressure or the PaCO2 differed significantly, but the extravascular lung water showed significant difference when “high” or “low” PEEP was applied (13±5 vs 9±2 ml/kg respectively, P=0.001).

This study found significant negative correlation between extravascular lung water and PaO2/FiO2. The mechanism by which extravascular lung water affects oxygenation is unknown but the significant positive correlation between PEEP and extravascular lung water shown in this trial suggests that the latter may have a role in the development of alveolar atelectasis.

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