Effect of pressure support ventilation on breathing patterns and respiratory work

H. Tokioka, S. Saito, F. Kosaka

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We assessed the effect of pressure support ventilation (PSV) on breathing patterns and the work of breathing in 10 postoperative patients. Minute ventilation ( {Mathematical expression}E) increased by 8% with 5 cm H2O PSV and 10% with 10 cm H2O PSV compared to 0 cm H2O PSV. The increase in {Mathematical expression}E was achieved by increased mean inspiratory flow (24% with 5 cm H2O PSV and 67% with 10 cm H2O PSV) and a decrease in duty cycle (13% with 5 cm H2O PSV and 39% with 10 cm H2O PSV). The decrease in duty cycle along with a decrease in respiratory frequency allowed a greater expiratory time including a rest period for the respiratory muscles, which might minimize the risk of muscle fatigue. Furthermore, the inspiratory work added by the ventilator was near zero with 5 cm H2O PSV and 10 cm H2O PSV. Oxygen consumption also decreased significantly with 5 cm H2O PSV. We conclude that PSV improves the breathing patterns and minimizes the work of breathing spontaneously via a ventilator.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-494
Number of pages4
JournalIntensive Care Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1989



  • Breathing pattern
  • Pressure support ventilation
  • Work of breathing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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