Early nasal intermittent positive pressure ventilation (NIPPV) versus early nasal continuous positive airway pressure (NCPAP) for preterm infants

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Background: Nasal continuous positive airway pressure (NCPAP) is a strategy to maintain positive airway pressure throughout the respiratory cycle through the application of a bias flow of respiratory gas to an apparatus attached to the nose. Early treatment with NCPAP is associated with decreased risk of mechanical ventilation exposure and might reduce chronic lung disease. Nasal intermittent positive pressure ventilation (NIPPV) is a form of noninvasive ventilation delivered through the same nasal interface during which patients are exposed to short inflations, along with background end-expiratory pressure. Objectives: To examine the risks and benefits of early (within the first six hours after birth) NIPPV versus early NCPAP for preterm infants at risk of or with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS). Primary endpoints are respiratory failure and the need for intubated ventilatory support during the first week of life. Secondary endpoints include the incidence of mortality, chronic lung disease (CLD) (oxygen therapy at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age), pneumothorax, duration of respiratory support, duration of oxygen therapy, and intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH). Search methods: Searches were conducted in January 2023 in CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Science, and Dissertation Abstracts. The reference lists of related systematic reviews and of studies selected for inclusion were also searched. Selection criteria: We considered all randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials. Eligible studies compared NIPPV versus NCPAP treatment, starting within six hours after birth in preterm infants (< 37 weeks' gestational age (GA)). Data collection and analysis: We collected and analyzed data using the recommendations of the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group. Main results: We included 17 trials, enrolling 1958 infants in this review. NIPPV likely reduces the rate of respiratory failure (risk ratio (RR) 0.65, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.54 to 0.78; risk difference (RD) -0.08, 95% CI -0.12 to -0.05; 17 RCTs, 1958 infants; moderate-certainty evidence) and needing endotracheal tube ventilation (RR 0.67, 95% CI 0.56 to 0.81; RD -0.07, 95% CI -0.11 to -0.04; 16 RCTs; 1848 infants; moderate-certainty evidence) amongst infants treated with early NIPPV compared with early NCPAP. The meta-analysis demonstrated that NIPPV may reduce the risk of developing CLD compared to CPAP (RR 0.70, 95% CI 0.52 to 0.92; 12 RCTs, 1284 infants; low-certainty evidence) slightly. NIPPV may result in little to no difference in mortality (RR 0.82, 95% CI 0.62 to 1.10; 17 RCTs; 1958 infants; I2 of 0%; low-certainty evidence), the incidence of pneumothorax (RR 0.92, 95% CI 0.60 to 1.41; 16 RCTs; 1674 infants; I2 of 0%; low-certainty evidence), and rates of severe IVH (RR 0.98, 95% CI 0.53 to 1.79; 8 RCTs; 977 infants; I2 of 0%; low-certainty evidence). Authors' conclusions: When applied within six hours after birth, NIPPV likely reduces the risk of respiratory failure and the need for intubation and endotracheal tube ventilation in very preterm infants (GA 28 weeks and above) with respiratory distress syndrome or at risk for RDS. It may also decrease the rate of CLD slightly. However, most trials enrolled infants with a gestational age of approximately 28 to 32 weeks with an overall mean gestational age of around 30 weeks. As such, the results of this review may not apply to extremely preterm infants that are most at risk of needing mechanical ventilation or developing CLD. Additional studies are needed to confirm these results and to assess the safety of NIPPV compared with NCPAP alone in a larger patient population.




Lemyre, B., Deguise, M. O., Benson, P., Kirpalani, H., Ekhaguere, O. A., & Davis, P. G. (2023). Early nasal intermittent positive pressure ventilation (NIPPV) versus early nasal continuous positive airway pressure (NCPAP) for preterm infants. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2023(7). https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD005384.pub3

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