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    ABSTRACT: To determine if gastric intramucosal pH changes during weaning from mechanical ventilation are related to gastric mucosal blood flow modifications, we studied 16 ventilator-supported patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who tolerated a 2-h trial of spontaneous breathing with pressure support ventilation and were successfully extubated and 11 patients with COPD who failed such a trial. Gastric mucosal perfusion was assessed using gastric intramucosal pH (pH(i)) by tonometry and laser-Doppler flowmetry. During the weaning attempt, the failure weaning group developed a rapid, shallow breathing pattern with acute respiratory acidosis. The pH(i) was lower and gastric intramucosal PCO(2) (PCO(2)im) was higher in the failure weaning group than in the successful weaning group (p < 0.05). No change in gastric intramucosal-arterial PCO(2) difference was observed and a linear correlation was found between arterial PCO(2) and PCO(2)im (r(2) = 0.70; p < 0.001). Cardiac index increased in the failure group (p < 0.05) and remained stable in the success group whereas gastric mucosal blood flow decreased in the failure group (H(120) (min): -22 +/- 11% from baseline; p < 0.05) and increased in the success group (H(120) (min): 85 +/- 27% from baseline; p < 0.05). We conclude that gastric intramucosal pH changes during a 2-h weaning trial are mainly due to arterial PCO(2) variations. Nevertheless, gastric mucosal blood flow changes do occur and differ according to the weaning success or failure.
    No preview · Article · Nov 1999 · American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine