Is high-frequency oscillatory ventilation more effective and safer than conventional protective ventilation in adult acute respiratory distress syndrome patients? A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Xiao-ling Gu, Guan-nan Wu, Yan-wen Yao, Dong-hong Shi, Yong Song
Critical Care: the Official Journal of the Critical Care Forum 2014 May 30, 18 (3): R111

INTRODUCTION: Comprehensively evaluating the efficacy and safety of high-frequency oscillatory ventilation (HFOV) is important to allow clinicians who are using or considering this intervention to make appropriate decisions.

METHODS: To find randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing HFOV with conventional mechanical ventilation (CMV) as an initial treatment for adult ARDS patients, we searched electronic databases (including PubMed, MedLine, Springer Link, Elsevier Science Direct, ISI web of knowledge, and EMBASE) with the following terms: "acute respiratory distress syndrome", "acute lung injury", and "high frequency oscillation ventilation". Additional sources included reference lists from the identified primary studies and relevant meta-analyses. Two investigators independently screened articles and extracted data. Meta-analysis was conducted using random-effects models.

RESULTS: We included 6 RCTs with a total of 1,608 patients in this meta-analysis. Compared with CMV, HFOV did not significantly reduce the mortality at 30 or 28 days. The pooled relative risk (RR) was 1.051 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.813 to 1.358). ICU mortality was also not significantly reduced in HFOV group, with a pooled RR of 1.218 (95% CI 0.925 to 1.604). The pooled effect sizes of HFOV for oxygenation failure, ventilation failure and duration of mechanical ventilation were 0.557 (95% CI 0.351 to 0.884), 0.892 (95% CI 0.435 to 1.829) and 0.079 (95% CI -0.045 to 0.203), respectively. The risk of barotrauma and hypotension were similar between the CMV group and HFOV group, with a RR of 1.205 (95% CI 0.834 to 1.742) and a RR of 1.326 (95% CI 0.271 to 6.476), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Although HFOV seems not to increase the risk of barotrauma or hypotension, and reduces the risk of oxygenation failure, it does not improve survival in adult acute respiratory distress syndrome patients.

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