Noninvasive ventilation as a weaning strategy for mechanical ventilation in adults with respiratory failure: a Cochrane systematic review
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BACKGROUND: Noninvasive ventilation has been studied as a means of reducing complications among patients being weaned from invasive mechanical ventilation. We sought to summarize evidence comparing noninvasive and invasive weaning and their effects on mortality. METHODS: We identified relevant randomized and quasirandomized trials through searches of databases, conference proceedings and grey literature. We included trials comparing extubation and immediate application of noninvasive ventilation with continued invasive weaning in adults on mechanical ventilation. Two reviewers each independently screened citations, assessed trial quality and abstracted data. Our primary outcome was mortality. RESULTS: We identified 16 trials involving 994 participants, most of whom had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Compared with invasive weaning, noninvasive weaning significantly reduced mortality (risk ratio [RR] 0.53, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.36 to 0.80), weaning failures (RR 0.63, 95% CI 0.42 to 0.96), ventilator-associated pneumonia (RR 0.25, 95% CI 0.15 to 0.43), length of stay in the intensive care unit (mean difference [MD] -5.59 d, 95% CI -7.90 to -3.28) and in hospital (MD -6.04 d, 95% CI -9.22 to -2.87), and total duration of mechanical ventilation (MD -5.64 d, 95% CI -9.50 to -1.77). Noninvasive weaning had no significant effect on the duration of ventilation related to weaning, but significantly reduced rates of tracheostomy (RR 0.19, 95% CI 0.08 to 0.47) and reintubation (RR 0.65, 95% CI 0.44 to 0.97). Mortality benefits were significantly greater in trials enrolling patients with COPD than in trials enrolling mixed patient populations (RR 0.36 [95% CI 0.24 to 0.56] v. RR 0.81 [95% CI 0.47 to 1.40]). INTERPRETATION: Noninvasive weaning reduces rates of death and pneumonia without increasing the risk of weaning failure or reintubation. In subgroup analyses, mortality benefits were significantly greater in patients with COPD.