A new mode of mechanical ventilation: positive + negative synchronized ventilation

  • Umberto Vincenzi | uvincenzi@gmail.com Former Director of Operative Unit of Pneumology and Intensive Respiratory Care Unit, "Ospedali Riuniti" University Hospital, Foggia, Italy.


Often, in supporting patients suffering from severe respiratory diseases with mechanical ventilation, obstacles are encountered due to pulmonary and/or thoracic alterations, reductions in the ventilable lung parenchyma, increases in airway resistance, alterations in thoraco-pulmonary compliance, advanced age of the subjects. All this involves difficulties in finding the right ventilation parameters and an adequate driving pressure to guarantee sufficient ventilation. Therefrom, new mechanical ventilation techniques were sought that could help overcome the aforementioned obstacles. A new mode of mechanical ventilation is being presented, i.e., a Positive + Negative Synchronized Ventilation (PNSV), characterized by the association and integration of two pulmonary ventilators; one acting inside the chest with positive pressures and one externally with negative pressure. The peculiarity of this combination is the complete synchronization, which takes place with specific electronic modifications. The PNSV can be applied both in a completely non-invasive and invasive way and, therefore, be used both in acute care wards and in ICU. The most relevant effect found, due to the compensation of opposing pressures acting on the chest, is that, during the entire inspiratory act created by the ventilators, the pressure at the alveolar level is equal to zero even if adding together the two ventilators’ pressures; thus, the transpulmonary pressure is doubled. The application of this pressure for 1 hour on elderly patients suffering from severe acute respiratory failure, resulted in a significant improvement in blood gas analytical and clinical parameters without any side effects. An increased pulmonary recruitment, including posterior lung areas, and a reduction in spontaneous ventilatory rate have also been demonstrated with PNSV. This also paves the way to the search for the best ventilatory treatment in critically ill or ARDS patients. The compensation of intrathoracic pressures should also lead, although not yet proven, to an improvement in venous return, systolic and cardiac output. In the analysis of the study in which this method was applied, the total transpulmonary pressure delivered was the sum of the individual pressures applied by the two ventilators. However, this does not exclude the possibility of reducing the pressures of the two machines to modulate a lower but balanced total transpulmonary pressure within the chest.



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PNSV, iron-lung, cuirass, ponchowrap, alveolar pressure, transpulmonary pressure, negative pressure
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How to Cite
Vincenzi, U. (2021). A new mode of mechanical ventilation: positive + negative synchronized ventilation. Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine, 16. https://doi.org/10.4081/mrm.2021.788