High-flow oxygen therapy in tracheostomized patients at high risk of weaning failure

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Abstract

Purpose: High-flow oxygen therapy delivered through nasal cannulae improves oxygenation and decreases work of breathing in critically ill patients. Little is known of the physiological effects of high-flow oxygen therapy applied to the tracheostomy cannula (T-HF). In this study, we compared the effects of T-HF or conventional low-flow oxygen therapy (conventional O2) on neuro-ventilatory drive, work of breathing, respiratory rate (RR) and gas exchange, in a mixed population of tracheostomized patients at high risk of weaning failure. Methods: This was a single-center, unblinded, cross-over study on fourteen patients. After disconnection from the ventilator, each patient received two 1-h periods of T-HF (T-HF1 and T-HF2) alternated with 1 h of conventional O2. The inspiratory oxygen fraction was titrated to achieve an arterial O2 saturation target of 94–98% (88–92% in COPD patients). We recorded neuro-ventilatory drive (electrical diaphragmatic activity, EAdi), work of breathing (inspiratory muscular pressure–time product per breath and per minute, PTPmusc/b and PTPmusc/min, respectively) respiratory rate and arterial blood gases. Results: The EAdipeak remained unchanged (mean ± SD) in the T-HF1, conventional O2 and T-HF2 study periods (8.8 ± 4.3 μV vs 8.9 ± 4.8 μV vs 9.0 ± 4.1 μV, respectively, p = 0.99). Similarly, PTPmusc/b and PTPmusc/min, RR and gas exchange remained unchanged. Conclusions: In tracheostomized patients at high risk of weaning failure from mechanical ventilation, T-HF did not improve neuro-ventilatory drive, work of breathing, respiratory rate and gas exchange compared with conventional O2 after disconnection from the ventilator. The present findings might suggest that physiological effects of high-flow therapy through tracheostomy substantially differ from nasal high flow.

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Stripoli, T., Spadaro, S., Di mussi, R., Volta, C. A., Trerotoli, P., De Carlo, F., … Grasso, S. (2019). High-flow oxygen therapy in tracheostomized patients at high risk of weaning failure. Annals of Intensive Care, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13613-019-0482-2

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