Physiologic Response of Ventilator-dependent Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease to Proportional Assist Ventilation and Continuous Positive Airway Pressure

The results of this study show that, in ventilator-dependent patients with COPD with difficult weaning, PAV improved minute ventilation and unloaded the inspiratory muscles while CPAP, tailored at a value close to PEEPi,dyn, reduced the patients’ neuromuscular drive and inspiratory effort without significant effects on the breathing pattern. The combination of CPAP and PAV further increased tidal volume and decreased the magnitude of the patients’ inspiratory neuromuscular drive and muscle effort to a level similar to that observed in normal subjects (27, 28).

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