Objective: To evaluate the impact of noninvasive ventilation (NIV) algorithms available on intensive care unit ventilators on the incidence of patient-ventilator asynchrony in patients receiving NIV for acute respiratory failure.
Design: Prospective multicenter randomized cross-over study.
Setting: Intensive care units in three university hospitals.
Methods: Patients consecutively admitted to the ICU and treated by NIV with an ICU ventilator were included. Airway pressure, flow and surface diaphragmatic electromyography were recorded continuously during two 30-min periods, with the NIV (NIV+) or without the NIV algorithm (NIV0). Asynchrony events, the asynchrony index (AI) and a specific asynchrony index influenced by leaks (AIleaks) were determined from tracing analysis.
Results: Sixty-five patients were included. With and without the NIV algorithm, respectively, auto-triggering was present in 14 (22%) and 10 (15%) patients, ineffective breaths in 15 (23%) and 5 (8%) (p = 0.004), late cycling in 11 (17%) and 5 (8%) (p = 0.003), premature cycling in 22 (34%) and 21 (32%), and double triggering in 3 (5%) and 6 (9%). The mean number of asynchronies influenced by leaks was significantly reduced by the NIV algorithm (p < 0.05). A significant correlation was found between the magnitude of leaks and AIleaks when the NIV algorithm was not activated (p = 0.03). The global AI remained unchanged, mainly because on some ventilators with the NIV algorithm premature cycling occurs.
Conclusion: In acute respiratory failure, NIV algorithms provided by ICU ventilators can reduce the incidence of asynchronies because of leaks, thus confirming bench test results, but some of these algorithms can generate premature cycling.