Use of ultrahigh frequency ventilation in patients with ARDS. A preliminary report

Eric Gluck, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital
Stephen O. Heard, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Chandra Patel, Maricopa Medical Center
David C. Mohr, Northwestern University
Jerry Calkins, Maricopa Medical Center
Mitchell P. Fink, University of Massachusetts Medical School
L. Landow, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital


STUDY OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to compare the efficacy of ultrahigh frequency ventilation (UHFV) (frequencies > 3 Hz) with respect to oxygenation, airway pressures, and hemodynamic parameters in patients with adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) who were not responding to conventional ventilation.

DESIGN: We used a prospective, multicenter, nonrandomized study design in which each patient served as his own control. SETTING: Three university-affiliated, tertiary-care medical centers participated.

PATIENTS: Persons aged 16 to 79 years old with ARDS and unresponsive to conventional ventilation, as defined by a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved protocol, were included.

INTERVENTIONS: Ninety patients who were not responding to conventional ventilation were changed to UHFV using a microcomputer-controlled device.

MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS: The patient's blood gas, hemodynamic, and airway pressure variables were measured just before, and at 1 and 24 h after the switch to UHFV. We demonstrated clinically significant improvements in arterial oxygen tension (PaO2) and reductions in peak and mean inspiratory pressures.

CONCLUSIONS: In a multicenter study, UHFV improved respiratory gas exchange and reduced airway pressure variables at both 1 h and 24 h after the onset of UHFV when compared with conventional ventilation just prior to the change and without hemodynamic deterioration, in patients with severe ARDS.