T-piece SBT harder work

24 difficult to wean patients underwent three spontaneous breathing trials in random order, with PA catheter monitoring in place. T-piece spontaneous ventilation was compared with pressure support ventilation 7 cmH20 without PEEP, and with pressure support ventilation 7 cmH20 with 5 cmH20 PEEP. T-piece was associated with higher SBT failure rates and more patient effort, left ventricular failure, and smaller tidal volumes. The study suggests that in selected difficult-to-wean patients, clinical and physiological responses differ depending on the type of SBT used to ascertain whether or not a patient is ready for extubation. Of note, the authors did not extubate the patients who succeeded a PSV trial, because it has been shown that a spontaneous breathing trial using T-piece mimics the work of breathing performed after extubation, and an extubation failure is associated with high mortality.

Physiological comparison of three spontaneous breathing trials in difficult-to-wean patients
Intensive Care Med. 2010 Jul;36(7):1171-9