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01.12.2018 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

Critical Care 1/2018

Driving-pressure-independent protective effects of open lung approach against experimental acute respiratory distress syndrome

Critical Care > Ausgabe 1/2018
Kentaro Tojo, Tasuku Yoshida, Takuya Yazawa, Takahisa Goto
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s13054-018-2154-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



The open lung approach (OLA) reportedly has lung-protective effects against acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Recently, lowering of the driving pressure (ΔP), rather than improvement in lung aeration per se, has come to be considered as the primary lung-protective mechanism of OLA. However, the driving pressure-independent protective effects of OLA have never been evaluated in experimental studies. We here evaluated whether OLA shows protective effects against experimental ARDS even when the ΔP is not lowered.


Lipopolysaccharide was intratracheally administered to rats to establish experimental ARDS. After 24 h, rats were mechanically ventilated and randomly allocated to the OLA or control group. In the OLA group, 5 cmH2O positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) and recruitment maneuver (RM) were applied. Neither PEEP nor RM was applied to the rats in the control group. Dynamic ΔP was kept at 15 cmH2O in both groups. After 6 h of mechanical ventilation, rats in both groups received RM to inflate reversible atelectasis of the lungs. Arterial blood gas analysis, lung computed tomography, histological evaluation, and comprehensive biochemical analysis were performed.


OLA significantly improved lung aeration, arterial oxygenation, and gas exchange. Even after RM in both groups, the differences in these parameters between the two groups persisted, indicating that the atelectasis-induced respiratory dysfunction observed in the control group is not an easily reversible functional problem. Lung histological damage was severe in the dorsal dependent area in both groups, but was attenuated by OLA. White blood cell counts, protein concentrations, and tissue injury markers in the broncho-alveolar lavage fluid (BALF) were higher in the control than in the OLA group. Furthermore, levels of CXCL-7, a platelet-derived chemokine, were higher in the BALF from the control group, indicating that OLA protects the lungs by suppressing platelet activation.


OLA shows protective effects against experimental ARDS, even when the ΔP is not decreased. In addition to reducing ΔP, maintaining lung aeration seems to be important for lung protection in ARDS.
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