Background: Non-invasive positive pressure ventilation (NIPPV) is effective in treating acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Nocturnal non-invasive positive pressure ventilation (nocturnal-NIPPV) has been proposed as an intervention for stable hypercapnic patients with COPD.
Objectives: To assess the effects of nocturnal-NIPPV at home via nasal mask or face mask in people with COPD by using a meta-analysis based on individual patient data (IPD).
Search methods: We searched the Cochrane Airways Group Specialised Register. We performed the latest search in August 2012.
Selection criteria: Randomised controlled trials in people with stable COPD that compared nocturnal-NIPPV at home for at least five hours per night, for at least three consecutive weeks plus standard therapy with standard therapy alone.
Data collection and analysis: IPD were collected and two review authors assessed risk of bias independently.
Main results: This update of the systematic review on nocturnal-NIPPV in COPD (Wijkstra 2002), has led to the inclusion of three new studies, leading to seven included studies on 245 people. We obtained IPD for all participants in all included studies. The 95% confidence interval (CI) of all outcomes included zero. These included partial pressure of CO2 and O2 in arterial blood, six-minute walking distance (6MWD), health-related quality of life (HRQoL), forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), maximal inspiratory pressure (PImax) and sleep efficiency. The mean effect on 6MWD was small at 27.7 m and not statistically significant. Given the width of the 95% CI (-28.1 to 66.3 m), the real effect of NIPPV on 6MWD is uncertain and we cannot exclude an effect that is clinically significant (considering that the minimal clinically difference on 6MWD is around 26 m).
Authors' conclusions: Nocturnal-NIPPV at home for at least three months in hypercapnic patients with stable COPD had no consistent clinically or statistically significant effect on gas exchange, exercise tolerance, HRQoL, lung function, respiratory muscle strength or sleep efficiency. Meta-analysis of the two new long-term studies did not show significant improvements in blood gases, HRQoL or lung function after 12 months of NIPPV. However, the small sample sizes of these studies preclude a definite conclusion regarding the effects of NIPPV in COPD.