28 June 2017
The establishment of high-intensity (HI) noninvasive ventilation (NIV) that targets elevated PaCO 2 has led to an increase in the use of long-term NIV to treat patients with chronic hypercapnic COPD. However, the role of the ventilation interface, especially in more aggressive ventilation strategies, has not been systematically assessed.
Ventilator settings and NIV compliance were assessed in this prospective cross-sectional monocentric cohort study of COPD patients with pre-existing NIV. Daytime arterialized blood gas analyses and lung function testing were also performed. The primary end point was the distribution among study patients of interfaces (full-face masks [FFMs] vs nasal masks [NMs]) in a real-life setting.
The majority of the 123 patients studied used an FFM (77%), while 23% used an NM. Ventilation settings were as follows: mean ± standard deviation (SD) inspiratory positive airway pressure (IPAP) was 23.2±4.6 mbar and mean ± SD breathing rate was 16.7±2.4/minute. Pressure support ventilation (PSV) mode was used in 52.8% of patients, while assisted pressure-controlled ventilation (aPCV) was used in 47.2% of patients. Higher IPAP levels were associated with an increased use of FFMs (IPAP <21 mbar: 73% vs IPAP >25 mbar: 84%). Mean compliance was 6.5 hours/day, with no differences between FFM (6.4 hours/day) and NM (6.7 hours/day) users. PaCO 2 assessment of ventilation quality revealed comparable results among patients with FFMs or NMs.
This real-life trial identified the FFM as the predominantly used interface in COPD patients undergoing long-term NIV. The increased application of FFMs is, therefore, likely to be influenced by higher IPAP levels, which form part of the basis for successful application of HI-NIV in clinical practice.