High-flow nasal cannula as a device to provide continuous positive airway pressure in infants

J Perinatol. 2007 Dec;27(12):772-5. doi: 10.1038/sj.jp.7211828. Epub 2007 Aug 30.


Objective: To measure the intrapharyngeal pressure (IPP) generated by high-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) at varying flow rates up to 5 l min(-1).

Study design: We studied 14 infants on HFNC or NCPAP using IPP manometry to measure the IPP generated at flows of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 l min(-1).

Result: On average flow rates of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 l min(-1) generated an IPP (cm of H(2)O) of 1.70+/-0.34, 1.75+/-0.2, 2.62+/-0.28, 3.78+/-0.44 and 4.84+/-0.51 respectively.

Conclusion: HFNC delivers significant IPP and is potentially a well-tolerated and viable option to provide CPAP at flows of > or = 3 min(-1) in infants with respiratory distress.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Catheterization*
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure / instrumentation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Nasal Cavity