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      High flow nasal cannula oxygen therapy versus non-invasive ventilation for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with acute-moderate hypercapnic respiratory failure: an observational cohort study

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          High-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) oxygen therapy in acute hypoxic respiratory failure is becoming increasingly popular. However, evidence to support the use of HFNC in acute respiratory failure (ARF) with hypercapnia is limited.


          Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients with moderate hypercapnic ARF (arterial blood gas pH 7.25–7.35, PaCO 2>50 mmHg) who received HFNC or non-invasive ventilation (NIV) in the intensive care uint from April 2016 to March 2018 were analyzed retrospectively. The endpoint was treatment failure, defined as either invasive ventilation, or a switch to the other study treatment (NIV for patients in the NFNC group, and vice-versa), and 28-day mortality.


          Eighty-two COPD patients (39 in the HFNC group and 43 in the NIV group) were enrolled in this study. The mean age was 71.8±8.2 and 54 patients (65.9%) were male. The treatment failed in 11 out of 39 patients with HFNC (28.2%) and in 17 of 43 patients with NIV (39.5%) ( P=0.268). No significant differences were found for 28-day mortality (15.4% in the HFNC group and 14% in the NIV group, P=0.824). During the first 24 hrs of treatment, the number of nursing airway care interventions in the HFNC group was significantly less than in the NIV group, while the duration of device application was significantly longer in the HFNC group (all P<0.05). Skin breakdown was significantly more common in the NIV group (20.9% vs 5.1%, P<0.05).


          Among COPD patients with moderate hypercarbic ARF, the use of HFNC compared with NIV did not result in increased rates of treatment failure, while there were fewer nursing interventions and skin breakdown episodes reported in the HFNC group.

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          Most cited references 26

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          Predictors of failure of noninvasive positive pressure ventilation in patients with acute hypoxemic respiratory failure: a multi-center study.

          In patients with hypoxemic acute respiratory failure (ARF), randomized studies have shown noninvasive positive pressure ventilation (NPPV) to be associated with lower rates of endotracheal intubation. In these patients, predictors of NPPV failure are not well characterized. To investigate variables predictive of NPPV failure in patients with hypoxemic ARF. Prospective, multicenter cohort study. Eight Intensive Care Units (ICU) in Europe and USA. Of 5,847 patients admitted between October 1996 and December 1998, 2,770 met criteria for hypoxemic ARF. Of these, 2,416 were already intubated and 354 were eligible for the study. NPPV failed in 30% (108/354) of patients. The highest intubation rate was observed in patients with ARDS (51%) or community-acquired pneumonia (50%). The lowest intubation rate was observed in patients with cardiogenic pulmonary edema (10%) and pulmonary contusion (18%). Multivariate analysis identified age > 40 years (OR 1.72, 95% CI 0.92-3.23), a simplified acute physiologic score (SAPS II) > or = 35 (OR 1.81, 95% CI 1.07-3.06), the presence of ARDS or community-acquired pneumonia (OR 3.75, 95% CI 2.25-6.24), and a PaO2:FiO2 < or = 146 after 1 h of NPPV (OR 2.51, 95% CI 1.45-4.35) as factors independently associated with failure of NPPV. Patients requiring intubation had a longer duration of ICU stay ( P < 0.001), higher rates of ventilator-associated pneumonia and septic complications ( P < 0.001), and a higher ICU mortality ( P < 0.001). In hypoxemic ARF, NPPV can be successful in selected populations. When patients have a higher severity score, an older age, ARDS or pneumonia, or fail to improve after 1 h of treatment, the risk of failure is higher.
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            Effect of Postextubation High-Flow Nasal Cannula vs Conventional Oxygen Therapy on Reintubation in Low-Risk Patients: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

            Studies of mechanically ventilated critically ill patients that combine populations that are at high and low risk for reintubation suggest that conditioned high-flow nasal cannula oxygen therapy after extubation improves oxygenation compared with conventional oxygen therapy. However, conclusive data about reintubation are lacking.
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              Effect of Postextubation High-Flow Nasal Cannula vs Noninvasive Ventilation on Reintubation and Postextubation Respiratory Failure in High-Risk Patients: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

              High-flow conditioned oxygen therapy delivered through nasal cannulae and noninvasive mechanical ventilation (NIV) may reduce the need for reintubation. Among the advantages of high-flow oxygen therapy are comfort, availability, lower costs, and additional physiopathological mechanisms.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                05 June 2019
                : 14
                : 1229-1237
                [1 ]Department of Emergency, Clinical Medical College, Yangzhou University, Northern Jiangsu People’s Hospital , Yangzhou, People’s Republic of China
                [2 ]Department of Emergency, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences , Beijing, People’s Republic of China
                [3 ]Department of Emergency, The First Affiliated Hospital, and College of Clinical Medicine of Henan University of Science and Technology , Luoyang, People’s Republic of China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Dingyu TanDepartment of Emergency, Clinical Medical College, Yangzhou University, Northern Jiangsu People’s Hospital , No. 98, Nantong West Road, Guangling District, Jiangsu Province, Yangzhou225001, People’s Republic of ChinaTel +861 805 106 1672 Email webtan1981@
                © 2019 Sun 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. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms (

                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 3, References: 33, Pages: 9
                Original Research


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