What is the role of pressure-controlled ventilation (PCV) in the treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)?

Updated: Mar 27, 2020
  • Author: Eloise M Harman, MD; Chief Editor: Michael R Pinsky, MD, CM, Dr(HC), FCCP, FAPS, MCCM  more...
  • Print

If high inspiratory airway pressures are required to deliver even low tidal volumes, pressure-controlled ventilation (PCV) may be initiated. In this mode of mechanical ventilation, the physician sets the level of pressure above CPAP (delta P) and the inspiratory time (I-time) or inspiratory/expiratory (I:E) ratio. The resultant tidal volume depends on lung compliance and increases as ARDS improves. PCV may also result in improved oxygenation in some patients not doing well on volume-controlled ventilation (VCV).

If oxygenation is a problem, longer I-times, such that inspiration is longer than expiration (inverse I:E ratio ventilation) may be beneficial; ratios as high as 7:1 have been used. PCV, using lower peak pressures, may also be beneficial in patients with bronchopleural fistulae, facilitating closure of the fistula.

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!