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PurposeLow tidal volume ventilation (LTVV) is associated with mortality in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome. We investigated the association of LTVV with mortality in COVID-19 patients.MethodsSecondary analysis of a national observational study in COVID-19 patients in the first wave of the pandemic. We compared COVID-19 patients that received LTVV, defined as controlled ventilation with a median tidal volume ≤ 6 mL/kg predicted body weight over the first 4 calendar days of ventilation, with patients that did not receive LTVV. The primary endpoint was 28-day mortality. In addition, we identified factors associated with use of LTVV.ResultsOf 903 patients, 294 (32.5%) received LTVV. Disease severity scores and ARDS classification was not different between the two patient groups. The primary endpoint, 28-day mortality, was met in 68 out of 294 patients (23.1%) that received LTVV versus in 193 out of 609 patients (31.7%) that did not receive LTVV (P < 0.001). LTVV was independently associated with 28-day mortality (HR, 0.68 (0.45 to 0.95); P = 0.025). Age, height, the initial tidal volume and continuous muscle paralysis was independently associated with use of LTVV.ConclusionsIn this cohort of invasively ventilated COVID-19 patients, approximately a third of patients received LTVV. Use of LTVV was independently associated with reduced 28-day mortality. The initial tidal volume and continuous muscle paralysis were potentially modifiable factors associated with use of LTVV. These findings are important as they could help clinicians to recognize patients who are at risk of not receiving LTVV.

Original publication





Journal of critical care

Publication Date





Department of Intensive Care, Amsterdam UMC, location AMC, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Electronic address:


PRoVENT-COVID Collaborative Group, Humans, Paralysis, Tidal Volume, Respiration, Artificial, Intensive Care Units, Respiratory Distress Syndrome, COVID-19