Changes in the mean pulmonary wedge pressure were measured during temporary disconnection from a ventilator in 29 patients to assess the effects of therapy with controlled volume ventilation on determinations of pulmonary wedge pressure. In 16 observations performed during therapy with intermittent positive pressure ventilation, the mean value for the pulmonary wedge pressure was the same (10.3 mm Hg) with the patients connected to or disconnected from the ventilator. Thirteen of the patients were also maintained on therapy with positive end expiratory pressure (PEEP); the mean (± SD) of 17 measurements of pulmonary wedge pressure did not show a significant variation on cessation of mechanical ventilation (12.5 ± 6.7 mm Hg vs 11.7 ± 6.9 mm Hg; P > 0.05). We conclude that pulmonary wedge pressure can be measured accurately at the end of exhalation during the administration of positive pressure ventilation with 10 cm H2O of PEEP. The suggested practice of discontinuing mechanical ventilation in order to obtain a more exact measurement is not warranted.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine