Objective: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of partial liquid ventilation (PLV) in adult patients with the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Summary Background Data: Previous studies have evaluated gas exchange and the safety of PLV in adult patients with severe respiratory failure whose gas exchange was partially provided by extracorporeal life support (ECLS). This is the first experience with adult patients who were not on ECLS. Methods: Intratracheal perflubron in a total dose of 30.1 ± 7.1 ml/kg was administered over a period of 45 ± 9 hours to nine adult patients with mean age = 49 ± 4 years and mean PaO2/FiO2 ratio = 128 ± 7 as part of a prospective, multicenter, phase I-II noncontrolled trial. Results: Significant decreases in mean (A-a)DO2 (baseline = 430 ± 47, 48 hour = 229 ± 17, p = 0.0127 by ANOVA) and FiO2 (baseline = 0.82 ± 0.08, 48 hour = 0.54 ± 0.06, p = 0.025), along with an increase in mean SvO2 (baseline = 75 ± 3, 48 hour = 85 ± 2, p = 0.018 by ANOVA) were observed. No significant changes in pulmonary compliance or hemodynamic variables were noted. Seven of the nine patients in this study survived beyond 28 days after initiation of partial liquid ventilation whereas 5 patients survived to discharge. Three adverse events [hypoxia (2) and hyperbilirubinemia (1)] were determined to be severe in nature. Conclusions: These data suggest that PLV may be performed safely with few related severe adverse effects. Improvement in gas exchange was observed in this series of adult patients over the 48 hours after initiation of PLV.
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