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.

BackgroundPostoperative pulmonary complications (PPC) may result in longer duration of in-hospital stay and even mortality. Both thoracic surgery and intraoperative mechanical ventilation settings add considerably to the risk of PPC. It is unclear if one-lung ventilation (OLV) for thoracic surgery with a strategy of intraoperative high positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) and recruitment maneuvers (RM) reduces PPC, compared to low PEEP without RM.MethodsPROTHOR is an international, multicenter, randomized, controlled, assessor-blinded, two-arm trial initiated by investigators of the PROtective VEntilation NETwork. In total, 2378 patients will be randomly assigned to one of two different intraoperative mechanical ventilation strategies. Investigators screen patients aged 18 years or older, scheduled for open thoracic or video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery under general anesthesia requiring OLV, with a maximal body mass index of 35 kg/m2, and a planned duration of surgery of more than 60 min. Further, the expected duration of OLV shall be longer than two-lung ventilation, and lung separation is planned with a double lumen tube. Patients will be randomly assigned to PEEP of 10 cmH2O with lung RM, or PEEP of 5 cmH2O without RM. During two-lung ventilation tidal volume is set at 7 mL/kg predicted body weight and, during OLV, it will be decreased to 5 mL/kg. The occurrence of PPC will be recorded as a collapsed composite of single adverse pulmonary events and represents the primary endpoint.DiscussionPROTHOR is the first randomized controlled trial in patients undergoing thoracic surgery with OLV that is adequately powered to compare the effects of intraoperative high PEEP with RM versus low PEEP without RM on PPC. The results of the PROTHOR trial will support anesthesiologists in their decision to set intraoperative PEEP during protective ventilation for OLV in thoracic surgery.Trial registrationThe trial was registered in ( NCT02963025 ) on 15 November 2016.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Pulmonary Engineering Group, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany.


PROTHOR investigators, Research Workgroup PROtective VEntilation Network (PROVEnet) of the European Society of Anaesthesiology (ESA), Humans, Intraoperative Complications, Positive-Pressure Respiration, Thoracic Surgical Procedures, Sample Size, Research Design, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, One-Lung Ventilation