Optimizing intrapulmonary perfluorocarbon distribution: Fluoroscopic comparison of mode of ventilation and body position

Scot T. Bateman, Allan Doctor, Barry Price, Mary Anne Murphy, John E. Thompson, David Zurakowski, George A. Taylor, John H. Arnold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: Partial liquid ventilation with the perfluorochemical, perflubron, has been shown to improve lung mechanics and enhance gas exchange in the treatment of severe acute lung injury. However, the most effective strategy to provide optimal intrapulmonary distribution of perflubron has not been fully accessed. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of body position (supine vs. rotational) and mode of ventilation (conventional mechanical ventilation [CMV] vs. high-frequency oscillatory ventilation [HFOV]) on perflubron distribution and oxygenation improvement. Design: Prospective, randomized, animal trial. Setting: Research laboratory at a university medical center. Subjects: Twenty healthy piglets (4.5-6.6 kg). Interventions: Subjects underwent repetitive saline lavage to achieve a uniform degree of lung injury and then were randomized to either CMV or were converted to HFOV. Within each ventilator group, animals were randomized to supine positioning (S) or rotational positioning with alternation between supine and prone position (R) during incremental dosing of three 5-mL/kg doses of perflubron. Measurements and Main Results: Arterial blood gas tensions, hemodynamic variables, and the oxygenation index were recorded after each dose of 5 mL/kg. Lateral cinefluoroscopic images after each dose were digitized for computer analysis of density. A density index was calculated for a 2-cm2 window in three dorsal and three ventral lung regions. Uniformity of distribution was calculated by comparing the mean density among the six regions. Oxygenation improvements were compared between groups. There were no significant differences in hemodynamic variables or gas exchange after lung injury in the four groups. Rotational positioning produced significantly more uniform perflubron distribution during both CMV and HFOV. This effect was independent of the mode of ventilation. The mean ventral density index was affected by rotating position and HFOV mode of ventilation after 10 mL/kg of perflubron, and rotating position was affected only after 15 mL/kg of perflubron. There was a significant reduction in the oxygenation index from baseline to end lavage in both CMV groups, as well as all of the animals that were rotated. Conclusion: Perflubron is more uniformly dispersed when dosed in a rotational fashion with alternation between supine and prone position during incremental dosing. This effect is independent of mode of ventilation. There was no relationship between oxygenation improvements and nondependent perflubron distribution. CMV and rotating dosing both led to a significant decrease in the oxygenation index after a 15 mL/kg dose of perflubron. This information has important impact on the future development of dosing strategies and clinical trial design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)601-608
Number of pages8
JournalCritical care medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001


  • Acute lung injury
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • Conventional mechanical ventilation
  • High-frequency oscillatory ventilation
  • Partial liquid ventilation
  • Perflubron
  • Perfluorocarbon
  • Prone positioning


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