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Volume 2 Supplement 1


  • Oral presentation
  • Open Access

0468. Cerebral effects of lateral trendelenburg vs semirecumbent position in an experimental model of ventilator-associated pneumonia

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Intensive Care Medicine Experimental20142 (Suppl 1) :O14

  • Published:


  • Mechanical Ventilation
  • Mean Arterial Pressure
  • Dentate Gyrus
  • Immunopositive Cell
  • Pulmonary Aspiration


Lateral-Trendelenburg position has been postulated as a promising intervention to prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) because it improves mucus clearance and avoids pulmonary aspiration in intubated patients [1]. Mechanical ventilation (MV) per se can modify brain status [2, 3] but the effects of position during MV are unknown.


To investigate the preventive effects of lateral Trendelenburg (TL) vs semirecumbent (SR) position in the development of VAP and its effects in the brain in an experimental model in pigs.


We have studied 17 Large White-Landrace pigs (30±2 kg) anesthetized, intubated and MV during 72 h in volume control. Animals were randomized in 3 groups:
  1. 1)

    SR: SR position, PEEP 0cmH2O, inspiratory-expiratory ratio (I:E) 0.33,

  2. 2)

    SR-inv: SR position, PEEP 5 cmH2O, I:E 0.7, and

  3. 3)

    TL: TL position, PEEP 0cmH2O, and I:E 0.33.


All the animals were oropharyngeal instilled (10ml) with P aeruginosa (107-108 cfu/ml). Mean arterial pressure (MAP) was monitorized and final bacterial pulmonary colonization, and cerebral status, consisting in a macroscopical evaluation of haemorrhage and of apoptosis indicatiors (caspase and TUNEL) in dentate gyrus in the hippocampal formation, were evaluated.


Bacterial Colonization (0.22 vs 2.27 and 2.31 log cfu/gr, p< 0.05) and VAP (0 vs 67 and 86 %, p< 0.05) were drastically reduced in TL position as compared to SR and SR-inv respectively. MAP was lower in SR and SR-inv compared to TL position (80 and 73 vs 90 mmHg, p< 0.05). At the brain level, pigs in TL position presented high score of petequial hemorrhage (2.6 vs 1 and 1.5, p< 0.05), and higher levels of immunopositive cells to caspase (6.3 vs 2.5 and 1.7, p< 0.05) and TUNEL (5.17 vs 1 and 2.72, p< 0.05) in the dentate gyrus in the hippocampus, both indicators of apoptosis, in comparison with groups SR and SR-inv respectively.


In this pig model of MV, TL position prevents pulmonary colonization and VAP development, but enhances cerebral hemorrhage, and increased apoptosis in the hippocampus. These alterations in the brain could be related with the increase in MAP observed in TL position. More studies to evaluate risks and benefits of TL position are needed.


Grant acknowledgment

Fundació Parc Taulí; MICIN PS09/01249; ESICM (2009 Alain Harf Award on Applied Respiratory Physiology); AGAUR GRC 532

Authors’ Affiliations

Fundació Parc Taulí, Sabadell, Spain
CIBERES, Madrid, Spain
Instituto del Torax, Hospital Clinic, IDIBAPS, UB, Barcelona, Spain
Idibell, Hospital Universitario de Bellvitge, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Spain
CIBERNED, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Spain
Corporació Sanitária i Universitária Parc Taulì-UAB, Sabadell, Spain


  1. Li Bassi G, Torres A: Ventilator-associated pneumonia: role of positioning. Curr Opin Crit Care 2011, 17: 57–63. 10.1097/MCC.0b013e3283428b31PubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
  2. Quílez ME, López-Aguilar J, Blanch L: Organ crosstalk during acute lung injury, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and mechanical ventilation. Curr Opin Crit Care 2012, 18: 23–8. 10.1097/MCC.0b013e32834ef3eaPubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar
  3. Quilez ME, Fuster G, Villar J, Flores C, Martí-Sistac O, Blanch L, López-Aguilar J: Injurious mechanical ventilation affects neuronal activation in ventilated rats. Crit Care 2011, 15: R124. 10.1186/cc10230PubMed CentralPubMedView ArticleGoogle Scholar


© López-Aguilar et al; licensee Springer. 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.