Regional air trapping in acute exacerbation of obstructive lung diseases measured with electrical impedance tomography: a feasibility study.Minerva Anestesiol 2019MA
Since bronchial abnormalities often exhibit spatial non-uniformity which may be not correctly assessed by conventional global lung function measures, regional information may help to characterize the disease progress. We hypothesized that regional air trapping during mechanical ventilation could be characterized by regional end-expiratory flow (EEF) derived from electrical impedance tomography (EIT).
Twenty-five patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD grade 3 or 4) or severe asthma with acute exacerbation were examined prospectively. Patients were ventilated under assist-control mode. EIT measurements were conducted before and one hour after inhaled combined corticosteroid and long-acting β2 agonist, on two consecutive days. Regional EEF was calculated as derivative of relative impedance for every image pixel in the lung regions. The results were normalized to global flow values measured by the ventilator.
Regional and global EEF were highly correlated (p<0.00001) and regional effects of medication and disease progression were visible in the regional EEF maps. The sums of regional EEF in lung regions were 3.8 [2.0, 5.1] and 3.6 [1.9, 4.5] L/min in COPD patients before and after medication (median [lower, upper quartiles]; p=0.37). The corresponding values in asthma patients were 3.0 [2.5, 4.2] and 2.2 [1.7, 3.2] L/min (p<0.05). Histograms of regional EEF showed high spatial heterogeneity of EEF before medication. After one day of treatment, the histograms exhibited less heterogeneous and a decrease in EEF level.
Regional EEF characterizes air trapping and intrinsic PEEP, which could provide diagnostic information for monitoring the disease progress during treatment.