Variation in Positive End-Expiratory Pressure Levels for Mechanically Ventilated Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that significant positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) level variation exists between neonatal centers. STUDY DESIGN: We performed a secondary analysis cohort study of the Nasal Intermittent Positive-Pressure Ventilation trial. Our study population was extremely low birth weight infants requiring mechanical ventilation within 28 days of life. The exposure was neonatal center; 34 international centers participated in the trial. Subjects from centers with fewer than 5 eligible cases were excluded. The main outcome was the maximal PEEP level used during the first course of mechanical ventilation. Infant characteristics judged a priori to directly influence clinical PEEP level selection and all characteristics associated with PEEP at P <.05 in bivariable analyses were included with and without center in multivariable linear regression models. Variation in PEEP level use between centers following adjustment for infant characteristics was assessed. RESULTS: A total of 278 extremely low birth weight infants from 17 centers were included. Maximal PEEP ranged from 3 to 9 cm H2O, mean = 5.7 (SD = 0.9). Significant variation between centers remained despite adjustment for infant characteristics (P < .0001). Further, center alone explained a greater proportion of the PEEP level variation than all infant characteristics combined. CONCLUSIONS: Marked variation in PEEP levels for extremely low birth weight infants exists between neonatal centers. Research providing evidence-based guidance for this important aspect of respiratory care in preterm infants at high risk of lung injury is needed. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00433212.

publication date

  • March 2018