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Home Non-Invasive Ventilation for COPD: How, Who and When?

Patrick B Murphy, Nicholas Hart
Archivos de Bronconeumología 2018, 54 (3): 149-154
29371025
Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and chronic respiratory failure have high levels of morbidity and mortality. The clinical efficacy of long term home oxygen therapy has been well documented in this patient group but despite the efficacy of non-invasive ventilation (NIV) during acute decompensated respiratory failure the addition of home NIV has been associated with equivocal results. The physiological efficacy of home NIV to improve gas exchange in chronic stable hypercapnic respiratory failure has been proven in small studies but larger clinical trials failed to translate this into clinical efficacy. Criticisms of early clinical trials include the use of marginally hypercapnic patients and failure to demonstrate effective delivery of home NIV. When considering recent trial data it is important to clearly evaluate the patient phenotype and timing and delivery of NIV. Recent data supports the delivery of home NIV in patients with chronic hypercapnia (PaCO2 >7kPa or 50mmHg) and the frequent or infrequent exacerbator phenotype. Importantly in the frequent exacerbator the timing of the assessment needs to be in the recovery phase, 2-4 weeks after resolution of acute acidosis, to delineate transient from persistent hypercapnia. In patient with persistent hypercapnia NIV must be titrated to achieve control of sleep disordered breathing with the aim of improving daytime respiratory failure. Furthermore there are observational data to support the use of home positive airway pressure therapy (NIV or continuous positive airway pressure; CPAP) in patients with COPD and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) both with and without hypercapnia.

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