Noninvasive high-frequency percussive ventilation in the prone position after lung transplantation

Transplant Proc. 2012 Sep;44(7):2016-21. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2012.05.062.


Noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation (NIV), which represents a consolidated treatment of both acute and chronic respiratory failure, is increasingly being used to maintain spontaneous ventilation in lung transplant patients with impending pulmonary complications. Adding a noninvasive inspiratory support plus positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) has proven to be useful in preventing endotracheal mechanical ventilation, airway injury, and infections. Lung recipients with closure of the small airways in the dependent regions may also benefit from the prone position, which is helpful to promote recruitment of nonaerated alveoli and faster healing of consolidated atelectatic areas. In patients with localized or diffuse lung infiltrates, high-frequency percussive ventilation (HFPV), by either an invasive airway or a facial mask, has been adopted as an alternative ventilatory mode to enhance airway opening, limit potential respirator-associated lung injury, and improve mucus clearance. In nonintubated lung recipients at risk for volubarotrauma with conventional mechanical ventilation, it allows oxygen diffusion into the distal airways at lower mean airway pressures while avoiding repetitive cyclical opening and closing of the terminal airways. We summarize the clinical course of 3 patients with post-lung transplantation respiratory complications who were noninvasively ventilated with HFPV in the prone position. Major advantages of this treatment included gradual improvement of spontaneous clearance of bronchial secretions, significant attenuation of graft infiltrates and consolidations, a reduction in the number of bronchoscopies required, a decrease in spontaneous respiratory rate and work of breathing, and a significant improvement in gas exchange. The patients found HFPV with either standard facial mask or total mask interface to be comfortable or only mildly uncomfortable, and after the sessions they felt more restored. HFPV by facial mask in the prone position may be an interesting and attractive alternative to standard NIV, one that is more useful when implemented before full-blown respiratory failure is established.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • High-Frequency Ventilation / methods*
  • Humans
  • Lung Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Noninvasive Ventilation / methods*
  • Posture*