Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

PurposePatients with novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) frequently develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and need invasive ventilation. The potential to reaerate consolidated lung tissue in COVID-19-related ARDS is heavily debated. This study assessed the potential to reaerate lung consolidations in patients with COVID-19-related ARDS under invasive ventilation.Materials and methodsThis was a retrospective analysis of patients with COVID-19-related ARDS who underwent chest computed tomography (CT) at low positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) and after a recruitment maneuver at high PEEP of 20 cm H2O. Lung reaeration, volume, and weight were calculated using both CT scans. CT scans were performed after intubation and start of ventilation (early CT), or after several days of intensive care unit admission (late CT).ResultsTwenty-eight patients were analyzed. The median percentages of reaerated and nonaerated lung tissue were 19% [interquartile range, IQR: 10 to 33] and 11% [IQR: 4 to 15] for patients with early and late CT scans, respectively (P=0.049). End-expiratory lung volume showed a median increase of 663 mL [IQR: 483 to 865] and 574 mL [IQR: 292 to 670] after recruitment for patients with early and late CT scans, respectively (P=0.43). The median decrease in lung weight attributed to nonaerated lung tissue was 229 g [IQR: 165 to 376] and 171 g [IQR: 81 to 229] after recruitment for patients with early and late CT scans, respectively (P=0.16).ConclusionsThe majority of patients with COVID-19-related ARDS undergoing invasive ventilation had substantial reaeration of lung consolidations after recruitment and ventilation at high PEEP. Higher PEEP can be considered in patients with reaerated lung consolidations when accompanied by improvement in compliance and gas exchange.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of thoracic imaging

Publication Date





286 - 293


Departments of Intensive Care.


Lung, Humans, Tomography, X-Ray Computed, Positive-Pressure Respiration, Retrospective Studies, Middle Aged, Female, Male, Respiratory Distress Syndrome, COVID-19