The weaning from mechanical ventilation: a comprehensive ultrasound approach

How to use cardiac, diaphragm and lung ultrasound to improve the assessment of the patients to wean from mechanical ventilation? Here a narrative review on Current Opinion in Critical Care

Available on Pubmed



Purpose of review: Due to heart, lung and diaphragm interactions during weaning from mechanical ventilation, an ultrasound integrated approach may be useful in the detection of dysfunctions potentially leading to weaning failure. In this review, we will summarize the most recent advances concerning the ultrasound applications relevant to the weaning from mechanical ventilation.

Recent findings: The role of ultrasonographic examination of heart, lung and diaphragm has been deeply investigated over the years. Most recent findings concern the ability of lung ultrasound in detecting weaning induced pulmonary edema during spontaneous breathing trial. Furthermore, in patients at high risk of cardiac impairments, global and anterolateral lung ultrasound scores have been correlated with weaning and extubation failure, whereas echocardiographic indexes were not. For diaphragmatic ultrasound evaluation, new indexes have been proposed for the evaluation of diaphragm performance during weaning, but further studies are needed to validate these results.

Summary: The present review summarizes the potential role of ultrasonography in the weaning process. A multimodal integrated approach allows the clinician to comprehend the pathophysiological processes of weaning failure.


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