A Trial of Adding Lung Protective Strategies to Existing Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Protocols and Its Effect on Improving Postoperative Lung Function

David A. Gutman, Victoria Bailey, Phillip Wilson, Andrew Fisher, Christopher A. Skorke, Carey Brewbaker, Travis Pecha, Dulaney A. Wilson, John Butler


Background: With this rising popularization of enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols, it is important to ask if the current and developing pathways are fully comprehensive for the patients perioperative experience. Many current pathways discuss aspects of care including fluid management, pain management, and anti-emetic medication regiments, but few delineate recommendations for lung protective strategies. The hypothesis was that intraoperative lung protective strategies would results in improved postoperative lung function.

Methods: One hundred patients at the Medical University of South Carolina undergoing hepatobiliary and colorectal surgeries were randomized to receive intraoperative lung protective techniques or a standard intraoperative ventilation management. Three maximum vital capacity breaths were recorded preoperatively, and postoperatively 30 min, 1 h, and 2 h after anesthesia stop time. Average maximum capacity breaths from all four data collection interactions were analyzed between both study and control cohorts.

Results: There was no significant difference in the preoperative inspiratory capacity between the control and the ERAS group (2,043.3 628.4 mL vs. 2,012.2 895.2 mL; P = 0.84). Additional data analysis showed no statistically significant difference between ERAS and control groups: total average of the inspiratory capacity volumes (1,253.5 593.7 mL vs. 1,390.4 964.9 mL; P = 0.47), preoperative oxygen saturation (97.762.3% vs. 98.041.7%; P = 0.50), the postoperative oxygen saturation (98.511.4% vs. 96.8314.2%; P = 0.40), and change in inspiratory capacity (95% confidence interval (CI) (-211.2 - 366.6); P = 0.60).

Conclusions: No statistically significant difference in postoperative inspiratory capacities were seen after the implementation of intraoperative lung protective strategies. The addition of other indicators of postoperative lung function like pneumonia incidence or length of inpatient stay while receiving oxygen treatment could provide a fuller picture in future studies, but a higher power will be needed.

J Clin Med Res. 2023;15(3):127-132
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/jocmr4871


Anesthesiology; ERAS; Lung; Optimization; Randomized control study; Prospective

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