David, M., K. Markstaller, A. L. Depta, J. Karmrodt, A. Herweling, O. Kempski, M. Geisen and H. W. Gervais. Initiation of high-frequency oscillatory ventilation and its effects upon cerebral circulation in pigs: an experimental study. Br J Anaesth. 2006.

BACKGROUND: Current practice at high-frequency oscillatory ventilation (HFOV) initiation is a stepwise increase of the constant applied airway pressure to achieve lung recruitment. We hypothesized that HFOV would lead to more adverse cerebral haemodynamics than does pressure controlled ventilation (PCV) in the presence of experimental intracranial hypertension (IH) and acute lung injury (ALI) in pigs with similar mean airway pressure settings. METHODS: In 12 anesthetized pigs (24-27 kg) with IH and ALI, mean airway pressure (Pmean) was increased (to 20, 25, 30 cm H2O every 30 min), either with HFOV or with PCV. The order of the two ventilatory modes (cross-over) was randomized. Mean arterial pressure (MAP), intracranial pressure (ICP), cerebral perfusion pressure (CPP), cerebral blood flow (CBF) (fluorescent microspheres), cerebral metabolism, transpulmonary pressures (PT), and blood gases were determined at each Pmean setting. Our end-points of interest related to the cerebral circulation were ICP, CPP and CBF. RESULTS: CBF and cerebral metabolism were unaffected but there were no differences between the values for HFOV and PCV. ICP increased slightly (HFOV median +1 mm Hg, P<0.05; PCV median +2 mm Hg, P<0.05). At Pmean setting of 30 cm H2O, CPP decreased during HFOV (median -13 mm Hg, P<0.05) and PCV (median -17 mm Hg, P<0.05) paralleled by a decrease of MAP (HFOV median -11 mm Hg, P<0.05; PCV median -13 mm Hg, P<0.05). PT increased (HFOV median +8 cm H2O, P<0.05; PCV median +8 cm H2O, P<0.05). Oxygenation improved and normocapnia maintained by HFOV and PCV. There were no differences between both ventilatory modes. CONCLUSIONS: In animals with elevated ICP and ALI, both ventilatory modes had effects upon cerebral haemodynamics. The effects upon cerebral haemodynamics were dependent of the PT level without differences between both ventilatory modes at similar Pmean settings. HFOV seems to be a possible alternative ventilatory strategy when MAP deterioration can be avoided.