High-Flow therapy via nasal cannula in acute heart failure

Rev Esp Cardiol. 2011 Aug;64(8):723-5. doi: 10.1016/j.recesp.2010.10.034. Epub 2011 Apr 16.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Various oxygenization methods are used in the treatment of respiratory failure in acute heart failure. Occasionally, after patients are stabilized by these ventilation methods, some maintain a degree of dyspnea or hypoxemia which does not improve and is unrelated to deterioration in the functional class or the need to optimize pharmacological treatment. High-flow oxygen systems administered via nasal cannula that are connected to heated humidifiers (HFT) are a good alternative for oxygenation, given that they are easy to use and have few complications. We studied a series of 5 patients with acute heart failure due to acute pulmonary edema with stable dyspnea or hypoxemia following noninvasive ventilation. All the patients were successfully treated with HFT, showing clinical and gasometric improvement and no complications or technical failures. We report our experience and discuss different aspects related to this oxygenation system.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Catheters
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nose
  • Oxygen Inhalation Therapy / instrumentation*
  • Oxygen Inhalation Therapy / methods*