Lower interbreath interval complexity is associated with extubation failure in mechanically ventilated patients during spontaneous breathing trials

Christopher E. White, Andriy I. Batchinsky, Corina Necsoiu, Ruth Nguyen, Kerfoot P. Walker, Kevin K. Chung, Steven Wolf, Leopoldo C. Cancio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether lower complexity of interbreath interval as measured with nonlinear analysis techniques will identify patients who fail to separate from mechanical ventilation after 30-minute spontaneous breathing trials (SBTs). Methods: Respiratory waveforms from SBT of patients in surgical or burn intensive care units were recorded for later analysis. The decision to extubate was made by attending physician. Extubated patients were observed for 48 hours; during this time, reintubation or noninvasive positive pressure ventilation was considered as a failure. Analysis of waveform data by software was performed post hoc. Sample entropy (SampEn) and other nonlinear measures were 48 hours of extubation. Results: Thirty-two patients (24 burn, 8 trauma/surgical admissions; mean age, 40.2 ± 16.9 years; 26 men and 6 women) who were intubated >24 hours were extubated after SBT. Twenty-four patients were successfully separated from mechanical ventilation and eight failed. Age, gender, and mechanism of injury did not influence outcome. SampEn calculated for the two groups presented in this study was different with the cohort that failed extubation having a lower mean value (1.35 ± 0.39 vs. 1.87 ± 0.27; p < 0.001). Other nonlinear metrics were moved in concert with SampEn. The stationarity in the respiratory signal was not different between groups. Conclusion: In intubated patients, the interbreath interval in those who were successfully separated from mechanical ventilation was more irregular than those who failed, as measured by nonlinear techniques. When available at bedside, these metrics may be useful markers of pulmonary health and assist in clinical decision making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1310-1316
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2010
Externally publishedYes



  • Humans
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Respiratory variability
  • Sample entropy
  • Weaning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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