Korean J Anesthesiol.  2020 Jun;73(3):179-193. 10.4097/kja.19499.

Protective ventilation from ICU to operating room: state of art and new horizons

  • 1Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Northern State Medical University, Arkhangelsk, Russian Federation


The prevention of ventilator-associated lung injury (VALI) and postoperative pulmonary complications (PPC) is of paramount importance for improving outcomes both in the operating room and in the intensive care unit (ICU). Protective respiratory support includes a wide spectrum of interventions to decrease pulmonary stress–strain injuries. The motto ‘low tidal volume for all’ should become routine, both during major surgery and in the ICU, while application of a high positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) strategy and of alveolar recruitment maneuvers requires a personalized approach and requires further investigation. Patient self-inflicted lung injury is an important type of VALI, which should be diagnosed and mitigated at the early stage, during restoration of spontaneous breathing.
This narrative review highlights the strategies used for protective positive pressure ventilation. The emerging concepts of damaging energy and power, as well as pathways to personalization of the respiratory settings, are discussed in detail. In the future, individualized approaches to protective ventilation may involve multiple respiratory settings extending beyond low tidal volume and PEEP, implemented in parallel with quantifying the risk of VALI and PPC.


Ventilation-associated lung injury; Patient self-inflicted lung injury; Protective ventilation; Positive pressure ventilation; Low tidal volume
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