Prevalence of complete airway closure according to body mass index in acute respiratory distress syndrome: Pooled cohort analysis

Rémi Coudroy, Damien Vimpere, Nadia Aissaoui, Romy Younan, Clotilde Bailleul, Amélie Couteau-Chardon, Aymeric Lancelot, Emmanuel Guerot, Lu Chen, Laurent Brochard, Jean Luc Diehl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background: Complete airway closure during expiration may underestimate alveolar pressure. It has been reported in cases of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), as well as in morbidly obese patients with healthy lungs. The authors hypothesized that complete airway closure was highly prevalent in obese ARDS and influenced the calculation of respiratory mechanics. Methods: In a post hoc pooled analysis of two cohorts, ARDS patients were classified according to body mass index (BMI) terciles. Low-flow inflation pressure-volume curve and partitioned respiratory mechanics using esophageal manometry were recorded. The authors' primary aim was to compare the prevalence of complete airway closure according to BMI terciles. Secondary aims were to compare (1) respiratory system mechanics considering or not considering complete airway closure in their calculation, and (2) and partitioned respiratory mechanics according to BMI. Results: Among the 51 patients analyzed, BMI was less than 30 kg/m2in 18, from 30 to less than 40 in 16, and greater than or equal to 40 in 17. Prevalence of complete airway closure was 41% overall (95% CI, 28 to 55; 21 of 51 patients), and was lower in the lowest (22% [3 to 41]; 4 of 18 patients) than in the highest BMI tercile (65% [42 to 87]; 11 of 17 patients). Driving pressure and elastances of the respiratory system and of the lung were higher when complete airway closure was not taken into account in their calculation. End-expiratory esophageal pressure (ρ = 0.69 [95% CI, 0.48 to 0.82]; P < 0.001), but not chest wall elastance, was associated with BMI, whereas elastance of the lung was negatively correlated with BMI (ρ = -0.27 [95% CI, -0.56 to -0.10]; P = 0.014). Conclusions: Prevalence of complete airway closure was high in ARDS and should be taken into account when calculating respiratory mechanics, especially in the most morbidly obese patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)867-878
Number of pages12
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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