The ideal moment to withdraw respiratory supply of patients under Mechanical Ventilation (MV) at Intensive Care Units (ICU), is not easy to be determined for clinicians. Although the Spontaneous Breathing Trial (SBT) provides a measure of the patients’ readiness, there is still around 15-20% of predictive failure rate. This work explores both Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and Cardiopulmonary Coupling (CPC) estimates as complementary information for readiness prediction. The CPC is related to how the mechanisms regulating respiration and cardiac pumping are working simultaneously, and it is defined from HRV in combination with respiratory information. Three different techniques are used to measure CPC, including Orthogonal Subspace Projections, Dynamic Mutual Information and Time-Frequency Coherence.
22 patients undergoing SBT in pressure support ventilation are analysed in the 24 hours previous to the SBT. 13 had a successful weaning and 9 failed the SBT or needed reintubation –being both considered as failed weaning. Results illustrate that traditional variables such as heart rate, respiratory frequency, and the parameters derived from HRV do not differ in patients with successful or failed weaning. However, significant statistical differences are found for the novel CPC parameters, throughout the whole recordings, comparing the values of the two groups. In addition, the night prior to SBT is the moment where differences are higher, probably because patients with failed weaning might be experiencing more respiratory episodes, e.g. apneas during the night, which is directly related to a reduced RSA. Therefore, results suggest that the traditional measures could be used in combination with these novel CPC biomarkers to help clinicians better predict if patients are ready to be weaned.