An Official American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society Workshop Report: Evaluation of Respiratory Mechanics and Function in the Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care Units.


Journal Article (Review)

Ready access to physiologic measures, including respiratory mechanics, lung volumes, and ventilation/perfusion inhomogeneity, could optimize the clinical management of the critically ill pediatric or neonatal patient and minimize lung injury. There are many techniques for measuring respiratory function in infants and children but very limited information on the technical ease and applicability of these tests in the pediatric and neonatal intensive care unit (PICU, NICU) environments. This report summarizes the proceedings of a 2011 American Thoracic Society Workshop critically reviewing techniques available for ventilated and spontaneously breathing infants and children in the ICU. It outlines for each test how readily it is performed at the bedside and how it may impact patient management as well as indicating future areas of potential research collaboration. From expert panel discussions and literature reviews, we conclude that many of the techniques can aid in optimizing respiratory support in the PICU and NICU, quantifying the effect of therapeutic interventions, and guiding ventilator weaning and extubation. Most techniques now have commercially available equipment for the PICU and NICU, and many can generate continuous data points to help with ventilator weaning and other interventions. Technical and validation studies in the PICU and NICU are published for the majority of techniques; some have been used as outcome measures in clinical trials, but few have been assessed specifically for their ability to improve clinical outcomes. Although they show considerable promise, these techniques still require further study in the PICU and NICU together with increased availability of commercial equipment before wider incorporation into daily clinical practice.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Peterson-Carmichael, S; Seddon, PC; Cheifetz, IM; Frerichs, I; Hall, GL; Hammer, J; Hantos, Z; van Kaam, AH; McEvoy, CT; Newth, CJL; Pillow, JJ; Rafferty, GF; Rosenfeld, M; Stocks, J; Ranganathan, SC; ATS/ERS Working Group on Infant and Young Children Pulmonary Function Testing,

Published Date

  • February 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 13 / 2

Start / End Page

  • S1 - 11

PubMed ID

  • 26848609

Pubmed Central ID

  • 26848609

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2325-6621

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2329-6933

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201511-730ST


  • eng