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J R Stat Soc Ser C Appl Stat 2011 Aug 1;60(4):475-496

Estimating the Causal Effect of Low Tidal Volume Ventilation on Survival in Patients with Acute Lung Injury.

Wang W, Scharfstein D, Wang C, Daniels M, Needham D, Brower R, the NHLBI ARDS Clinical Network


Acute lung injury (ALI) is a condition characterized by acute onset of severe hypoxemia and bilateral pulmonary infiltrates. ALI patients typically require mechanical ventilation in an intensive care unit. Low tidal volume ventilation (LTVV), a time-varying dynamic treatment regime, has been recommended as an effective ventilation strategy. This recommendation was based on the results of the ARMA study, a randomized clinical trial designed to compare low vs. high tidal volume strategies (The Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Network, 2000) . After publication of the trial, some critics focused on the high non-adherence rates in the LTVV arm suggesting that non-adherence occurred because treating physicians felt that deviating from the prescribed regime would improve patient outcomes. In this paper, we seek to address this controversy by estimating the survival distribution in the counterfactual setting where all patients assigned to LTVV followed the regime. Inference is based on a fully Bayesian implementation of Robins' (1986) G-computation formula. In addition to re-analyzing data from the ARMA trial, we also apply our methodology to data from a subsequent trial (ALVEOLI), which implemented the LTVV regime in both of its study arms and also suffered from non-adherence.

Category: Journal Article
PubMed ID: #22025809 DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9876.2010.00757.x
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Medical Devices
Entry Created: 2013-01-14