[Noninvasive mechanical ventilation in patients with stable severe COPD]

B Schucher, J Zerbst, H J Baumann
Pneumologie 2004, 58 (6): 428-34
Noninvasive positive pressure ventilation in patients with stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The role of non-invasive positive pressure ventilation (NIPPV) is well documented in patients with restrictive thoracic diseases like kyphoscoliosis, tuberculosis sequelae or neuromuscular disease. There is also a good evidence for the use of NIPPV in acute respiratory failure in patients with an exacerbation of COPD. The application of NIPPV in patients with chronic respiratory failure is growing, but there is less evidence than in restrictive disorders. NIPPV can unload the respiratory muscles in patients with chronic hypercapnic COPD and so alleviates fatigue of the respiratory pump, but improvement in the maximal inspiratory pressure (Pi (max)) is small or even absent. An improvement of sleep quality has also postulated, there was an increase in total sleep time and sleep effectiveness when using higher inspiratory pressure. An increase of the walking distance was shown in short term studies, only. In most studies, there was an increase in quality of life as a main topic. Mortality was unchanged in the two long-term randomised controlled studies. Current data suggest a possible role of NIPPV in patients with severe hypercapnia. A high effective inspiratory pressure and a ventilator mode with a significant reduction in the work of breathing should be choosen. NIPPV should be started in hospital, a close reassessment must be performed. Patients who accepted NIPPV in the first weeks had a good compliance for long-term use.

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