Physiologic evaluation of positive end expiratory pressure ventilation

M. B. Nicotra, P. M. Stevens, J. Viroslav, A. A. Alvarez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The physiological effects of positive end expiratory pressure ventilation (PEEP) were studied in 36 patients with acute respiratory failure secondary to nonobstructive lung disease. Arterial oxygen content increased in all patients while mixed venous oxygen content rose in half of them. Calculated arterial venous oxygen content differences did not change for the group as a whole while physiological shunt fraction decreased markedly. Very few deleterious effects of this method of ventilation were noted except for a 14% incidence of pneumothorax. The mean time that PEEP was required was 2.8 days and prognosis seemed to be related to the etiology of the respiratory failure. An increase in mixed venous oxygen content during PEEP seemed to impart a good prognosis and occurred more frequently among patients with respiratory failure following cardiovascular surgery; most of these patients survived their respiratory failure and over half were eventually discharged. In contrast only one of 14 patients with respiratory failure due to other causes survived after requiring the use of PEEP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-15
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1973

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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