The Usefulness of the Rapid Shallow Breathing Index in Predicting Successful Extubation Journal Articles uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Clinicians use several measures to ascertain whether individual patients will tolerate liberation from mechanical ventilation, including the rapid shallow breathing index (RSBI). RESEARCH QUESTION: Given varied use of different thresholds, patient populations, and measurement characteristics, how well does RSBI predict successful extubation? STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: We searched six databases from inception through September 2019 and selected studies reporting the accuracy of RSBI in the prediction of successful extubation. We extracted study data and assessed quality independently and in duplicate. RESULTS: We included 48 studies involving RSBI measurements of 10,946 patients. Pooled sensitivity for RSBI of < 105 in predicting extubation success was moderate (0.83 [95% CI, 0.78-0.87], moderate certainty), whereas specificity was poor (0.58 [95% CI, 0.49-0.66], moderate certainty) with diagnostic ORs (DORs) of 5.91 (95% CI, 4.09-8.52). RSBI thresholds of < 80 or 80 to 105 yielded similar sensitivity, specificity, and DOR. These findings were consistent across multiple subgroup analyses reflecting different patient characteristics and operational differences in RSBI measurement. INTERPRETATION: As a stand-alone test, the RSBI has moderate sensitivity and poor specificity for predicting extubation success. Future research should evaluate its role as a permissive criterion to undergo a spontaneous breathing trial (SBT) for patients who are at intermediate pretest probability of passing an SBT. TRIAL REGISTRY: PROSPERO; No.: CRD42020149196; URL:


  • Trivedi, Vatsal
  • Chaudhuri, Dipayan
  • Jinah, Rehman
  • Piticaru, Joshua
  • Agarwal, Arnav
  • Liu, Kuan
  • McArthur, Eric
  • Sklar, Michael C
  • Friedrich, Jan O
  • Rochwerg, Bram
  • Burns, Karen EA

publication date

  • January 2022

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