Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Critical Care and BioMed Central.

Open Badges Commentary

Do recruitment maneuvers simply improve oxygenation?

Franco Valenza

Author Affiliations

Università degli Studi di Milano, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico Cá Granda, Via F. Sforza 35, 20122 Milano, Italy

Critical Care 2010, 14:173  doi:10.1186/cc9042

See related research by Constantin et al.,

Published: 1 July 2010


Recruitment maneuvers have been the subject of intense investigation. Their role in the acute care setting is debated given the lack of information on their influence on clinical outcomes. Oxygenation improvement is often a striking effect, together with changes of respiratory mechanics. However, hemodynamic compromise is frequently associated with the maneuver, sometimes even barotrauma. Another possible downside is bacterial translocation secondary to lung overdistention, as suggested by experimental and initial clinical data. When a recruitment maneuver is performed, the patho-physiological consequences of lung recruitment should guide clinicians more than oxygenation improvement alone.