Noninvasive ventilation for pediatric patients including those under 1-year-old undergoing liver transplantation

Liver Transpl. 2005 Feb;11(2):188-95. doi: 10.1002/lt.20297.


Pulmonary complications are an important cause of the mortality associated with liver transplantation. The efficacy of noninvasive ventilation (NIV) in pediatric patients following transplantation is unknown. The purpose of this retrospective study is to investigate the effects of NIV for pediatric patients undergoing liver transplantation. Of 102 pediatric patients who underwent liver transplantation, 15 patients (aged 73 months; range 2.5-179) were supported by NIV because of atelectasis, hypercapnia, hypoxemia, pneumonia, massive effusion, or postextubation ventilatory support. Of 15 patients, 5 were under the age of 1 year (range 2.5-12 months). Of the 15 patients, 7 had required multiple intubations before NIV treatment because of pulmonary complications. NIV treatment was administered to 6 patients because of hypercapnia. Partial pressure of arterial carbon dioxide (PaCO(2)) levels improved from 56.9 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 48.4-65.4) to 41.5 (95% CI: 36.8-46.2) mmHg (P = .028) within 2 days. NIV treatment was very effective for patients with atelectasis with and without other pulmonary complications. Mean inspiratory positive pressure (IPAP) was 7.2 (95% CI: 6.0-8.3) cm H(2)O and expiratory positive pressure (EPAP) was 3.5 (95% CI: 3.2-3.9) cm of H(2)O. Mean duration of NIV was 18.5 (95% CI: 8.6-28.4) days. IPAP and EPAP levels were closely and significantly correlated with height (IPAP: r = .65, P = .016; EPAP: r = .77, P = .004). A total of 13 patients recovered and 2 patients died. However, no patient died of respiratory complications. In conclusion, NIV is effective in pediatric patients undergoing liver transplantation with subsequent pulmonary complications. The IPAP and EPAP levels may be predicted by the height of the patient.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Hypercapnia / therapy
  • Infant
  • Liver Transplantation*
  • Lung Diseases / etiology
  • Lung Diseases / therapy*
  • Pneumonia / therapy
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Postoperative Complications / therapy*
  • Pulmonary Atelectasis / therapy
  • Respiration, Artificial*
  • Retrospective Studies