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      Pulmonary infection control window as a switching point for sequential ventilation in the treatment of COPD patients: a meta-analysis

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          Choosing the appropriate time to switch to noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation (NPPV) plays a crucial role in promoting successful weaning. However, optimal timing for transitioning and weaning patients from mechanical ventilation (MV) to NPPV has not been clearly established. In China, the pulmonary infection control (PIC) window as a switching point for weaning from MV has been performed for many years, without definitive evidence of clinical benefit. This study aimed to summarize the evidence for NPPV at the PIC window for patients with respiratory failure from COPD.


          A comprehensive search for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) was performed. The trials were all parallel studies comparing the PIC window weaning strategy versus conventional weaning strategy in treatment of patients with respiratory failure due to COPD.


          Sixteen studies of 647 participants were eligible. When compared with conventional weaning strategy, early extubation followed by NPPV at the point of PIC window significantly reduced the mortality rate (risk ratios [RRs] 0.36, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.23 to 0.57) and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) (RR 0.28, 95% CI 0.19 to 0.41); it also decreased the duration of invasive ventilation (weighted mean difference [WMD] −7.68 days, 95% CI −9.43 to −5.93) and total duration of ventilation (WMD −5.93 days, 95% CI −7.29 to −4.58), which also shortened the lengths of stay in an intensive care unit (WMD −8.51 days, 95% CI −10.23 to −6.79), as well as length of stay in hospital (WMD −8.47 days, 95% CI −8.61 to −7.33).


          The results showed that the PIC window as a switching point for sequential ventilation in treatment of respiratory failure in COPD patients may be beneficial. It might yield not only relevant information for caregivers in China but also new insights for considering the PIC window by physicians in other countries.

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          Most cited references 42

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          Extubation outcome after spontaneous breathing trials with T-tube or pressure support ventilation. The Spanish Lung Failure Collaborative Group.

          A 2-h T-tube trial of spontaneous breathing was used in selecting patients ready for extubation and discontinuation of mechanical ventilation. However, some doubt remains as to whether it is the most appropriate method of performing a spontaneous breathing trial. We carried out a prospective, randomized, multicenter study involving patients who had received mechanical ventilation for more than 48 h and who were considered by their physicians to be ready for weaning according to clinical criteria and standard weaning parameters. Patients were randomly assigned to undergo a 2-h trial of spontaneous breathing in one of two ways: with a T-tube system or with pressure support ventilation of 7 cm H2O. If a patient had signs of poor tolerance at any time during the trial, mechanical ventilation was reinstituted. Patients without these features at the end of the trial were extubated. Of the 246 patients assigned to the T-tube group, 192 successfully completed the trial and were extubated; 36 of them required reintubation. Of the 238 patients in the group receiving pressure support ventilation, 205 were extubated and 38 of them required reintubation. The percentage of patients who remained extubated after 48 h was not different between the two groups (63% T-tube, 70% pressure support ventilation, p = 0.14). The percentage of patients falling the trial was significantly higher when the T-tube was used (22 versus 14%, p = 0.03). Clinical evolution during the trial was not different in patients reintubated and successfully extubated. ICU mortality among reintubated patients was significantly higher than in successfully extubated patients (27 versus 2.6%, p < 0.001). Spontaneous breathing trials with pressure support or T-tube are suitable methods for successful discontinuation of ventilator support in patients without problems to resume spontaneous breathing.
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            Noninvasive mechanical ventilation in the weaning of patients with respiratory failure due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A randomized, controlled trial.

            In patients with acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, mechanical ventilation is often needed. The rate of weaning failure is high in these patients, and prolonged mechanical ventilation increases intubation-associated complications. To determine whether noninvasive ventilation improves the outcome of weaning from invasive mechanical ventilation. Multicenter, randomized trial. Three respiratory intensive care units. Intubated patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and acute hypercapnic respiratory failure. A T-piece weaning trial was attempted 48 hours after intubation. If this failed, two methods of weaning were compared: 1) extubation and application of noninvasive pressure support ventilation by face mask and 2) invasive pressure support ventilation by an endotracheal tube. Arterial blood gases, duration of mechanical ventilation, time in the intensive care unit, occurrence of nosocomial pneumonia, and survival at 60 days. At admission, all patients had severe hypercapnic respiratory failure (mean pH, 7.18+/-0.06; mean PaCO2, 94.2+/-24.2 mm Hg), sensory impairment, and similar clinical characteristics. At 60 days, 22 of 25 patients (88%) who were ventilated noninvasively were successfully weaned compared with 17 of 25 patients (68%) who were ventilated invasively. The mean duration of mechanical ventilation was 16.6+/-11.8 days for the invasive ventilation group and 10.2+/-6.8 days for the noninvasive ventilation group (P = 0.021). Among patients who received noninvasive ventilation, the probability of survival and weaning during ventilation was higher (P = 0.002) and time in the intensive care unit was shorter (15.1+/-5.4 days compared with 24.0+/-13.7 days for patients who received invasive ventilation; P = 0.005). Survival rates at 60 days differed (92% for patients who received noninvasive ventilation and 72% for patients who received invasive ventilation; P = 0.009). None of the patients weaned noninvasively developed nosocomial pneumonia, whereas 7 patients weaned invasively did. Noninvasive pressure support ventilation during weaning reduces weaning time, shortens the time in the intensive care unit, decreases the incidence of nosocomial pneumonia, and improves 60-day survival rates.
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              Weaning from the ventilator and extubation in ICU.

              The decision to extubate is a crucial moment for intubated patients. In most cases, the transition to spontaneous breathing is uneventful, but in some patients, it implies a more challenging decision. Both extubation delay and especially the need for reintubation are associated with poor outcomes. We aim to review the recent literature on weaning and to clarify the role of certain interventions intending to help in this process. Cardiac dysfunction is probably one of the most common causes of weaning failure. Several studies have evaluated the ability of B-natriuretic peptides and echocardiographic tools to predict weaning outcome due to cardiac origin, attempting to prevent its failure. Noninvasive ventilation may have a potential benefit in preventing respiratory failure after extubation of hypercapnic patients, although more studies are needed to define a target population. Current research is focusing on preventing extubation failure, especially in the most challenging cases. The use of weaning protocols - written or computerized - attempts to early identify patients who are able to breathe spontaneously and to hasten extubation, resulting in better outcomes. Nevertheless, individualized care is needed in the most vulnerable patients, trying to prompt weaning without exposing patients to unnecessary risks.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                24 April 2017
                : 12
                : 1255-1267
                Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, The Affiliated Hospital, Institute of Respiratory Diseases, Guangdong Medical University, Zhanjiang, China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Tianwen Lai, Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, The Affiliated Hospital, Institute of Respiratory Diseases, Guangdong Medical University, 57 Wenming Road, Zhanjiang, 524001, China, Email laitianwen2011@

                These authors contributed equally to this work

                © 2017 Lv et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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