Nocturnal nasal IPPV stabilizes patients with cystic fibrosis and hypercapnic respiratory failure

Chest. 1992 Sep;102(3):846-50. doi: 10.1378/chest.102.3.846.


Nocturnal nasal intermittent positive pressure ventilation (nIPPV) has been used successfully in the management of patients with respiratory failure due to chest wall deformity and neuromuscular disease. In order to determine if nIPPV is useful in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) complicated by respiratory failure, we treated four hypercapnic patients for up to 18 months. All patients had failed to respond to intensive conventional therapy, including nocturnal nasal CPAP in three of the patients. Within a few days of commencing nIPPV, all reported improved length and quality of sleep. There was lessening of the degree of hypercapnia and an increase in respiratory muscle strength. After stabilization in the hospital, all patients were able to be discharged home receiving nocturnal assisted ventilation. The improvements seen in these patients have been maintained for up to 18 months. We believe nIPPV offers an effective therapeutic approach for patients with end-stage CF in hypercapnic respiratory failure and may be particularly advantageous for those awaiting heart-lung transplant.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications
  • Cystic Fibrosis / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypercapnia / etiology
  • Hypercapnia / therapy*
  • Intermittent Positive-Pressure Ventilation / methods*
  • Male
  • Pulmonary Gas Exchange / physiology
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / etiology
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / therapy*
  • Sleep / physiology