Conventional mechanical ventilation (CMV) of neonates has been used as a treatment of respiratory failure for over 30 years. While CMV facilitates gas exchange, it may simultaneously damage the lung. Positive end expiratory pressure (PEEP) has received less attention than other ventilation parameters when considering this balance of benefit and possible harm. While an appropriate level of PEEP may exert substantial benefits in ventilation, both inappropriately low or high levels may lead to harm. An appropriate level of PEEP for neonates may also be best achieved by an individualized approach. 1. To compare the effects of different levels of PEEP in preterm newborn infants requiring CMV for respiratory distress syndrome (RDS).2. To compare the effects of different levels of PEEP in preterm infants requiring CMV for bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD).3. To compare the effects of different methods for individualizing PEEP to an optimal level in preterm newborn infants requiring CMV for RDS. The search was performed in accordance with the standard search strategy for the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group. The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library), Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE, study references and experts were utilized for study identification. All randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials studying preterm infants (less than 37 weeks gestational age) requiring CMV with endotracheal intubation and undergoing randomization to either different PEEP levels (RDS or BPD) or two or more alternative methods for individualizing PEEP levels (RDS only) were included. Cross-over trials were included but we limited the findings to those in the first cross-over period. Data collection and analysis were performed in accordance with the recommendations of the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group. An initial evaluation identified 10 eligible articles. Ultimately, a single study met our inclusion criteria. The study addressed the effects of different levels of PEEP in preterm newborn infants requiring CMV for RDS. Only short term physiologic measures were reported. All results were limited to a small sample size without statistically significant results. No trials addressing the effect of PEEP in infants with BPD or strategies to individualize the management of PEEP were identified. There is insufficient evidence to guide selection of appropriate PEEP levels for RDS or CMV. There is a need for well designed clinical trials evaluating the optimal application of this important and frequently applied intervention.
Bamat, N., Millar, D., Suh, S., & Kirpalani, H. (2012). Positive end expiratory pressure for preterm infants requiring conventional mechanical ventilation for respiratory distress syndrome or bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.cd004500.pub2