Esophageal Pressure in Anaesthetized Patients: Difficulties and Frequent Mistakes

  • J. O. C. AulerJr
  • C. R. Fernandes
Conference paper


Indirect measurement of pleural pressure, with the use of a balloon inserted in the esophagus, had been initially proposed by Luciani in 1878, nevertheless, this procedure only became popular from the work of Buytendijk in 1949 [1]. Measurement of esophageal pressure (Pes) is an extremely useful method for the evaluation of respiratory mechanics (chest wall and lung). Several investigations allowed to estimate the values of elasticity and resistance of the lung and thoracic wall.


Respiratory Mechanic Anaesthetize Patient Esophageal Pressure Pleural Pressure Occlusion Test 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Zin WA, Milic-Emili J (1998) Esophageal pressure measurement. In: Tobin MJ (Ed) Principles and Practice of Intensive Care Monitoring. McGraw-Hill, New York pp 545–552Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gilbert R, Peppi D, Auchinloss JH (1979) Measurement of transdiaphragmatic pressure with a single gastric-esophageal probe. J Appl Physiol 47: 628–30.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Knowles JH, Hong SK, Rahn H (1958) Possible error using esophageal balloon in determination of pressure-volume characteristics of the lung and thoracic cage. J Appl Physiol 14: 525–530Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Baydur A, Behrakis PK, Zin WA et al (1982) Simple method for assessing the validity of the esophageal balloon technique. Am Rev Respir Dis 126: 788–91PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Westbrook PR, Stubbs SE, Sessler AD et al (1973) Effects of anesthesia and muscle paralysis on respiratory mechanics in normal man. J Appl Physiol 34: 81–86.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Rehder K, Mallow JE, Fibuch EE et al (1974) Effects of isoflurane anesthesia and muscle paralysis on respiratory mechanics in normal man. Anesthesiol 41: 477–485CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Higgs BD, Behrakis PK, Bevan DR et al (1983) Measurement of pleural pressure with esophageal balloon in anesthetized humans 59: 340–343Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Baydur A, Sassoon CSH, Stiles CM (1987) Partitioning of respiratory mechanics in young adults: Effects of duration of anesthesia. Am Rev Respir Dis 135: 165–172PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    D’Angelo E, Robatto FM, Calderini E et al (1991) Pulmonary and chest wall mechanics in anesthetized paralyzed humans. 70: 2602–2610Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Pelosi P, Crossi M, Ravagnan I et al (1996) Total respiratory system, lung, and chest wall mechanics in sedated-paralyzed postoperative morbidly obese patients. Chest 109: 144–151PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ruiz Neto PP, Auler Jr JOC (1992) Respiratory mechanical properties during fentanyl and alfentanil anaesthesia. Can J Anaesth 39: 458–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Fernandes C, Auler Jr JOC (2001) Comparative study between esophageal and pleural pressure in anesthetized humans at different levels of PEEP Abstract (accepted) ASA Meeting — New Orleans — October 2001. (Anesthesiology in press)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. O. C. AulerJr
    • 1
  • C. R. Fernandes
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnaesthesiologyHeart Institute, FMUSP Clinical HospitalSão PauloBrazil

Personalised recommendations