BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Salt-water aspiration results in pulmonary oedema and hypoxia. We tested the hypothesis that partial liquid ventilation has beneficial effects on gas exchange and rate of survival in acute and extended salt water-induced lung injury.
METHODS: Anaesthetized, ventilated rats (tidal volume 6 mL kg(-1), PEEP 5 cmH2O) received a tracheal salt-water instillation (3%, 8 mL kg(-1) body weight) and were randomly assigned to three groups (n = 10 per group). While lungs of Group 1 were gas-ventilated, lungs of Group 2 received a single perfluorocarbon instillation (30 min after the injury, 5 mL kg(-1) perfluorocarbon) and lungs of Group 3 received an additional continuous perfluorocarbon application into the treachea (5 mL kg(-1) h(-1)) Arterial blood gases were measured with an intravascular blood gas sensor.
RESULTS: Salt-water instillation resulted in a marked decrease in PaO2 values within 30 min (from 432 +/- 65 to 83 +/- 40 mmHg, FiO2 = 1.0, P < 0.01). Arterial oxygenation improved in all three groups irrespective of treatment. We observed no significant differences between groups in peak PaO2 and PaCO2 values.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that partial liquid ventilation has no additional beneficial effects on gas exchange after life-threatening salt water-induced lung injury when compared to conventional gas ventilation with positive end-expiratory pressure.