09 May 2018
Patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) with acute respiratory failure (ARF) due to COPD have high mortality and morbidity. Acidosis has several harmful effects on hemodynamics and metabolism, and the current knowledge regarding the relationship between respiratory acidosis severity on the short- and long-term survival of COPD patients is limited. We hypothesized that COPD patients with severe acidosis would have a poorer short- and long-term prognosis compared with COPD patients with mild-to-moderate acidosis.
This retrospective observational cohort study was conducted in a level III respiratory ICU of a tertiary teaching hospital for chest diseases between December 1, 2013, and December 30, 2014. Subject characteristics, comorbidities, ICU parameters, duration of mechanical ventilation, length of ICU stay, ICU mortality, use of domiciliary noninvasive mechanical ventilation (NIMV) and long-term oxygen therapy (LTOT), and short- and long-term mortality were recorded. Patients were grouped according to their arterial blood gas (ABG) values during ICU admission: severe acidotic (pH≤7.20) and mild-to-moderate acidotic (pH 7.21–7.35). These groups were compared with the recorded data. The mortality predictors were analyzed by logistic regression test in the ICU and the Cox regression test for long-term mortality predictors.
During the study period, a total of 312 COPD patients admitted to the ICU with ARF, 69 (72.5% male) in the severe acidosis group and 243 (79% male) in the mild-to-moderate acidosis group, were enrolled. Group demographics, comorbidities, duration of mechanical ventilation, and length of ICU stay were similar in the two groups. The severe acidosis group had a significantly higher rate of NIMV failure (60.7% vs 40%) in the ICU. Mild-to-moderate acidotic COPD patients using LTOT had longer survival after ICU discharge than those without LTOT. On the other hand, severely acidotic COPD patients without LTOT showed shorter survival than those with LTOT. Kaplan–Meier cumulative survival analysis showed that the 28-day and 1-, 2-, and 3-year mortality rates were 12.2%, 36.2%, 52.6%, 63.3%, respectively ( p=0.09). The Cox regression analyses showed that older age, PaO 2/FiO 2 <300 mmHg, and body mass index ≤20 kg/m 2 was associated with mortality of all patients after 3 years.