Clinical question: What is the benefit associated with a depletive fluid management strategy on ventilator-associated complication (VAC) and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) during weaning from mechanical ventilation?
Background: VAP is common in the ICU. Pulmonary edema predisposes patients to pneumonia by altering the alveolar microenvironment through enhancement of bacterial colonization and infectivity and a decrease in host bactericidal capacities. A fluid management strategy aimed at lowering lung fluid balance may prove useful in reducing both VAC and VAP.
Study design: Randomized controlled trial.
Setting: Nine ICUs in Europe and South America, between May 2007 and July 2009.
Synopsis: Data from the B-type Natriuretic Peptide for the Management of Weaning (BMW) trial was used to compare the cumulative incidence of VAC and VAP between the biomarker-driven, depletive fluid management group and the usual care group during the 14 days following randomization. The trial enrolled 304 randomized patients, 152 in each group.
Compared with usual care, the interventional strategy was associated with a higher proportion of patients receiving diuretics, in higher doses, resulting in a significantly more negative fluid balance during weaning and a shorter duration of mechanical ventilation. VAC (as defined by worsening oxygenation) occurred in 13.2% of patients during the 14 days following randomization: 17.8% in the usual care group and 8.6% in the interventional group. VAP occurred in 13.5% during the 14 days following randomization: 17.8% in the usual care group and 9.2% in the interventional group.
Bottom line: A biomarker-driven, depletive fluid strategy decreases the cumulative incidence of VAC and VAP.