The use of perfluorocarbon-associated gas exchange to improve ventilation and decrease mortality after inhalation injury in a neonatal swine model

John C. Fitzpatrick, Bryan S. Jordan, Najmul Salman, James Williams, William G. Cioffi, Basil A. Pruitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


Patients with tracheobronchial disease frequently require mechanical ventilation during therapy and experience iatroganic complications such as barotrauma and volutrauma. The purpose of this study was to determine whether perfluorocarbon-associated gas exchange (PAGE) results in lower ventilatory pressures and more efficient ventilation than that provided by conventional ventilation after tracheobronchial mucosal injury caused by smoke inhalation in neonatal piglets. Ten piglets were used for this prospective, randomized study. After administration of a severe smoke inhalation injury, the piglets were randomly assigned to either the perfluorocarbon or control groups. Group 1 served as the control population and received standard (time-cycled, volume-limited) mechanical ventilation. Ventilator settings were adjusted to maintain physiological pH and PO2 at the lowest tidal volume, rate, and end- expiratory pressure possible throughout the study period. Group 2 was administered intratracheal perfluorocarbon as well as identical mechanical ventilation to attain the same physiological pH and PO2. Oxygenation index, peak and mean airway pressures, and arterial blood gas levels were measured throughout the study period and subjected to statistical analysis. Histological comparison of airway and parenchymal tissues confirmed identical patterns of smoke injury in both groups. Carbon monoxide levels were the same in both groups. There was significant barotrauma and volutrauma in the control group, but none in the PAGE group. All controls died from 13 to 17 hours after injury; one PAGE pig died at 23 hours with all others surviving past 24 hours (P = .0021). Peak, plateau, and mean airway pressures were all significantly higher (P < .05) past 12 hours after injury and continued to increase until death in the controls. Arterial blood gases showed significantly (P < .05) decreased pH, PO2, and elevated PCO2 levels in the control group past 12 hours after injury. The oxygenation index was significantly elevated (P < .05) in the control group past 12 hours after injury. PAGE shows potential for improving ventilation and survival immediately after severe smoke inhalation injury and may have clinical applications in other nonhomogeneous lung injuries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-196
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1997



  • PAGE
  • barotrauma
  • inhalation injury
  • lung injury
  • perfluorocarbon ventilation
  • volutrauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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