Objective: The admission of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) to the intensive care unit (ICU) is controversial. Our aim was to study the long-term outcome of patients with CF who were admitted to the ICU and the effect of ventilation modality.
Methods: The medical records of 104 admissions (1996-2006) of 48 patients with CF (age 18+/-9 years) were reviewed. Seventeen patients were admitted with reversible conditions (group 1). Thirty-one patients were admitted for acute on chronic respiratory failure (group 2).
Results: In group 1, 16 of 17 patients survived up to 10 years from ICU admission. Conversely, in group 2, 23 of 31 patients (74%) died of respiratory failure. In group 2, 17 of 18 patients who were mechanically ventilated died within 90 days from admission, and 7 of 10 patients treated for prolonged periods with bi-level positive airway pressure are still alive up to 10 years after admission and transplantation.
Conclusion: Patients requiring mechanical ventilation may have a poor prognosis. The outcome of treatment with bi-level positive airway pressure is good, even in patients who had many episodes of acute respiratory failure.
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