Nocturnal non-invasive ventilation in addition to rehabilitation in hypercapnic patients with COPD

M L Duiverman, J B Wempe, G Bladder, D F Jansen, H A M Kerstjens, J G Zijlstra, P J Wijkstra
Thorax 2008, 63 (12): 1052-7

BACKGROUND: Long-term non-invasive positive pressure ventilation (NIPPV) might improve the outcomes of pulmonary rehabilitation in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with chronic respiratory failure. A study was undertaken to investigate whether nocturnal NIPPV in addition to pulmonary rehabilitation improves health-related quality of life, functional status and gas exchange compared with pulmonary rehabilitation alone in patients with COPD with chronic hypercapnic respiratory failure.

METHODS: 72 patients with COPD were randomly assigned to nocturnal NIPPV in addition to rehabilitation (n = 37) or rehabilitation alone (n = 35). Outcome measures were assessed before and after the 3-month intervention period.

RESULTS: The Chronic Respiratory Questionnaire total score improved 15.1 points with NIPPV + rehabilitation compared with 8.7 points with rehabilitation alone. The difference of 7.5 points was not significant (p = 0.08). However, compared with rehabilitation alone, the difference in the fatigue domain was greater with NIPPV + rehabilitation (mean difference 3.3 points, p<0.01), as was the improvement in the Maugeri Respiratory Failure questionnaire total score (mean difference -10%, p<0.03) and its cognition domain (mean difference -22%, p<0.01). Furthermore, the addition of NIPPV improved daytime arterial carbon dioxide pressure (mean difference -0.3 kPa; p<0.01) and daily step count (mean difference 1269 steps/day, p<0.01). This was accompanied by an increased daytime minute ventilation (mean difference 1.4 l; p<0.001).

CONCLUSION: Non-invasive ventilation augments the benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation in patients with COPD with chronic hypercapnic respiratory failure as it improves several measures of health-related quality of life, functional status and gas exchange.

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