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Respir Res ; 23(1): 94, 2022 Apr 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1793938


BACKGROUND: Before the pandemic of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), rapidly improving acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), mostly defined by early extubation, had been recognized as an increasingly prevalent subphenotype (making up 15-24% of all ARDS cases), associated with good prognosis (10% mortality in ARDSNet trials). We attempted to determine the prevalence and prognosis of rapidly improving ARDS and of persistent severe ARDS related to COVID-19. METHODS: We included consecutive patients with COVID-19 receiving invasive mechanical ventilation in three intensive care units (ICU) during the second pandemic wave in Greece. We defined rapidly improving ARDS as extubation or a partial pressure of arterial oxygen to fraction of inspired oxygen ratio (PaO2:FiO2) greater than 300 on the first day following intubation. We defined persistent severe ARDS as PaO2:FiO2 of equal to or less than 100 on the second day following intubation. RESULTS: A total of 280 intubated patients met criteria of ARDS with a median PaO2:FiO2 of 125.0 (interquartile range 93.0-161.0) on day of intubation, and overall ICU-mortality of 52.5% (ranging from 24.3 to 66.9% across the three participating sites). Prevalence of rapidly improving ARDS was 3.9% (11 of 280 patients); no extubation occurred on the first day following intubation. ICU-mortality of patients with rapidly improving ARDS was 54.5%. This low prevalence and high mortality rate of rapidly improving ARDS were consistent across participating sites. Prevalence of persistent severe ARDS was 12.1% and corresponding mortality was 82.4%. CONCLUSIONS: Rapidly improving ARDS was not prevalent and was not associated with good prognosis among patients with COVID-19. This is starkly different from what has been previously reported for patients with ARDS not related to COVID-19. Our results on both rapidly improving ARDS and persistent severe ARDS may contribute to our understanding of trajectory of ARDS and its association with prognosis in patients with COVID-19.

COVID-19 , Respiratory Distress Syndrome , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Oxygen , Respiration, Artificial/methods , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/diagnosis , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/epidemiology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/therapy
Br J Anaesth ; 127(4): 648-659, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1329691


Mechanical ventilation induces a number of systemic responses for which the brain plays an essential role. During the last decade, substantial evidence has emerged showing that the brain modifies pulmonary responses to physical and biological stimuli by various mechanisms, including the modulation of neuroinflammatory reflexes and the onset of abnormal breathing patterns. Afferent signals and circulating factors from injured peripheral tissues, including the lung, can induce neuronal reprogramming, potentially contributing to neurocognitive dysfunction and psychological alterations seen in critically ill patients. These impairments are ubiquitous in the presence of positive pressure ventilation. This narrative review summarises current evidence of lung-brain crosstalk in patients receiving mechanical ventilation and describes the clinical implications of this crosstalk. Further, it proposes directions for future research ranging from identifying mechanisms of multiorgan failure to mitigating long-term sequelae after critical illness.

Brain/metabolism , Lung Injury/physiopathology , Respiration, Artificial/methods , Animals , Central Nervous System/metabolism , Critical Illness , Humans , Multiple Organ Failure/physiopathology , Positive-Pressure Respiration/methods
Ann Intensive Care ; 11(1): 107, 2021 Jul 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1322949


Veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a helpful intervention in patients with severe refractory hypoxemia either because mechanical ventilation cannot ensure adequate oxygenation or because lung protective ventilation is not feasible. Since ECMO is a highly invasive procedure with several, potentially devastating complications and its implementation is complex and expensive, simpler and less invasive therapeutic options should be first exploited. Low tidal volume and driving pressure ventilation, prone position, neuromuscular blocking agents and individualized ventilation based on transpulmonary pressure measurements have been demonstrated to successfully treat the vast majority of mechanically ventilated patients with severe hypoxemia. Veno-venous ECMO has a place in the small portion of severely hypoxemic patients in whom these strategies fail. A combined analysis of recent ARDS trials revealed that ECMO was used in only 2.15% of patients (n = 145/6736). Nevertheless, ECMO use has sharply increased in the last decade, raising questions regarding its thoughtful use. Such a policy could be harmful both for patients as well as for the ECMO technique itself. This narrative review attempts to describe together the practical approaches that can be offered to the sickest patients before going to ECMO, as well as the rationale and the limitations of ECMO. The benefit and the drawbacks associated with ECMO use along with a direct comparison with less invasive therapeutic strategies will be analyzed.