Value of measuring esophageal pressure to evaluate heart-lung interactions—applications for invasive hemodynamic monitoring

Xavier Repessé, Antoine Vieillard-Baron, Guillaume Geri


Evaluation of intrathoracic pressure is the cornerstone of the understanding of heart-lung interactions, but is not easily feasible at the bedside. Esophageal pressure (Pes) has been shown to be a good surrogate for intrathoracic pressure and can be more easily measured using a small esophageal catheter, but is not routinely employed. It can provide crucial information for the study of heart-lung interactions in both controlled and spontaneous ventilation. This review presents the physiological basis, the technical aspects and the value in clinical practice of the measurement of Pes.