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Critical Care and Emergency Medicine - Immunology - Respiratory Medicine

Recurrent Recruitment Manoeuvres Improve Lung Mechanics and Minimize Lung Injury during Mechanical Ventilation of Healthy Mice
Published: Thursday, September 15, 2011
Author: Lucy Kathleen Reiss et al.

by Lucy Kathleen Reiss, Anke Kowallik, Stefan Uhlig


Mechanical ventilation (MV) of mice is increasingly required in experimental studies, but the conditions that allow stable ventilation of mice over several hours have not yet been fully defined. In addition, most previous studies documented vital parameters and lung mechanics only incompletely. The aim of the present study was to establish experimental conditions that keep these parameters within their physiological range over a period of 6 h. For this purpose, we also examined the effects of frequent short recruitment manoeuvres (RM) in healthy mice.


Mice were ventilated at low tidal volume VT?=?8 mL/kg or high tidal volume VT?=?16 mL/kg and a positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) of 2 or 6 cmH2O. RM were performed every 5 min, 60 min or not at all. Lung mechanics were followed by the forced oscillation technique. Blood pressure (BP), electrocardiogram (ECG), heart frequency (HF), oxygen saturation and body temperature were monitored. Blood gases, neutrophil-recruitment, microvascular permeability and pro-inflammatory cytokines in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and blood serum as well as histopathology of the lung were examined.


MV with repetitive RM every 5 min resulted in stable respiratory mechanics. Ventilation without RM worsened lung mechanics due to alveolar collapse, leading to impaired gas exchange. HF and BP were affected by anaesthesia, but not by ventilation. Microvascular permeability was highest in atelectatic lungs, whereas neutrophil-recruitment and structural changes were strongest in lungs ventilated with high tidal volume. The cytokines IL-6 and KC, but neither TNF nor IP-10, were elevated in the BAL and serum of all ventilated mice and were reduced by recurrent RM. Lung mechanics, oxygenation and pulmonary inflammation were improved by increased PEEP.


Recurrent RM maintain lung mechanics in their physiological range during low tidal volume ventilation of healthy mice by preventing atelectasis and reduce the development of pulmonary inflammation.