Korean J Crit Care Med.  2017 Nov;32(4):307-322. 10.4266/kjccm.2017.00535.

Patient-Ventilator Dyssynchrony

  • 1Intensive Care Unit, University Hospital of Heraklion, Heraklion, Greece. akoumianakievangelia@gmail.com
  • 2Medical School, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece.


In mechanically ventilated patients, assisted mechanical ventilation (MV) is employed early, following the acute phase of critical illness, in order to eliminate the detrimental effects of controlled MV, most notably the development of ventilator-induced diaphragmatic dysfunction. Nevertheless, the benefits of assisted MV are often counteracted by the development of patient-ventilator dyssynchrony. Patient-ventilator dyssynchrony occurs when either the initiation and/or termination of mechanical breath is not in time agreement with the initiation and termination of neural inspiration, respectively, or if the magnitude of mechanical assist does not respond to the patient's respiratory demand. As patient-ventilator dyssynchrony has been associated with several adverse effects and can adversely influence patient outcome, every effort should be made to recognize and correct this occurrence at bedside. To detect patient-ventilator dyssynchronies, the physician should assess patient comfort and carefully inspect the pressure- and flowtime waveforms, available on the ventilator screen of all modern ventilators. Modern ventilators offer several modifiable settings to improve patient-ventilator interaction. New proportional modes of ventilation are also very helpful in improving patient-ventilator interaction.


assisted mechanical ventilation; critical illness; dyssynchrony; mechanical ventilation

MeSH Terms

Critical Illness
Respiration, Artificial
Ventilators, Mechanical
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