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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Pulmonary Medicine 1/2015

Performance of noninvasive ventilation in acute respiratory failure in critically ill patients: a prospective, observational, cohort study

BMC Pulmonary Medicine > Ausgabe 1/2015
Thiago Domingos Corrêa, Paula Rodrigues Sanches, Lúbia Caus de Morais, Farah Christina Scarin, Eliézer Silva, Carmen Sílvia Valente Barbas
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

TDC and CSVB devised the study protocol. TDC, PRS, LCM, FCS, CSVB participated in the enrolment of patients and in the acquisition of data. TDC, ES and CSVB analyzed the data. All authors interpreted the data, wrote, critically revised and approved the final manuscript to be published.



Noninvasive ventilation (NIV) is used in critically ill patients with acute respiratory failure (ARF) to avoid endotracheal intubation. However, the impact of NIV use on ARF patient’s outcomes is still unclear. Our objectives were to evaluate the rate of NIV failure in hypoxemic patients with an arterial carbon dioxide partial pressure (PaCO2) < 45 mmHg or ≥ 45 mmHg at ICU admission, the predictors of NIV failure, ICU and hospital length of stay and 28-day mortality.


Prospective single center cohort study. All consecutive patients admitted to a mixed ICU during a three-month period who received NIV, except for palliative care purposes, were included in this study. Demographic data, APACHE II score, cause of ARF, number of patients that received NIV, incidence of NIV failure, length of ICU, hospital stay and mortality rate were compared between NIV failure and success groups.


Eighty-five from 462 patients (18.4 %) received NIV and 26/85 (30.6 %) required invasive mechanical ventilation. NIV failure patients were comparatively younger (67 ± 21 vs. 77 ± 14 years; p = 0.031), had lower arterial bicarbonate (p = 0.005), lower PaCO2 levels (p = 0.032), higher arterial lactate levels (p = 0.046) and APACHE II score (p = 0.034) compared to NIV success patients. NIV failure occurred in 25.0 % of patients with PaCO2 ≥ 45 mmHg and in 33.3 % of patients with PaCO2 < 45 mmHg (p = 0.435). NIV failure was associated with an increased risk of in-hospital death (OR 4.64, 95 % CI 1.52 to 14.18; p = 0.007) and length [median (IQR)] of ICU [12 days (8–31) vs. 2 days (1–4); p < 0.001] and hospital [30 (19–42) vs. 15 (9–33) days; p = 0.010] stay. Predictors of NIV failure included age (OR 0.96, 95 % CI 0.93 to 0.99; p = 0.007) and APACHE II score (OR 1.13, 95 % CI 1.02 to 1.25; p = 0.018).


NIV failure was associated with an increased risk of in-hospital death, ICU and hospital stay and was not affected by baseline PaCO2 levels. Patients that failed were comparatively younger and had higher APACHE II score, suggesting the need for a careful selection of patients that might benefit from NIV. A well-designed study on the impact of a short monitored NIV trial on outcomes is needed.
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