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BackgroundVentilation with lower positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) may cause loss of lung aeration in critically ill invasively ventilated patients. This study investigated whether a systematic lung ultrasound (LUS) scoring system can detect such changes in lung aeration in a study comparing lower versus higher PEEP in invasively ventilated patients without acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).MethodsSingle center substudy of a national, multicenter, randomized clinical trial comparing lower versus higher PEEP ventilation strategy. Fifty-seven patients underwent a systematic 12-region LUS examination within 12 h and between 24 to 48 h after start of invasive ventilation, according to randomization. The primary endpoint was a change in the global LUS aeration score, where a higher value indicates a greater impairment in lung aeration.ResultsThirty-three and twenty-four patients received ventilation with lower PEEP (median PEEP 1 (0-5) cm H2O) or higher PEEP (median PEEP 8 (8-8) cm H2O), respectively. Median global LUS aeration scores within 12 h and between 24 and 48 h were 8 (4 to 14) and 9 (4 to 12) (difference 1 (-2 to 3)) in the lower PEEP group, and 7 (2-11) and 6 (1-12) (difference 0 (-2 to 3)) in the higher PEEP group. Neither differences in changes over time nor differences in absolute scores reached statistical significance.ConclusionsIn this substudy of a randomized clinical trial comparing lower PEEP versus higher PEEP in patients without ARDS, LUS was unable to detect changes in lung aeration.

Original publication




Journal article


Diagnostics (Basel, Switzerland)

Publication Date





Department of Intensive Care, Amsterdam University Medical Centers, Location AMC, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands.