Objective: Despite the widespread use of noninvasive ventilation in children and in children with acute lung injury and pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome, there are few scientific data on the utility of this therapy. In this review, we examine the literature regarding noninvasive positive pressure ventilation and use the Research ANd Development/University of California, Los Angeles appropriateness methodology to provide strong or weak recommendations for the use of noninvasive positive pressure ventilation in children with pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome.
Data sources: Electronic searches were made in PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, and Scopus with the following specific keywords: noninvasive ventilation, noninvasive positive pressure ventilation, continuous positive airway pressure, and high-flow nasal cannula.
Study selection: Studies were eligible for inclusion if they included 10 or more children between 1 month and 18 years old. Randomized and nonrandomized controlled trials, controlled before-and-after studies, concurrent cohort studies, interrupted time series studies, historically controlled studies, cohort studies, cross-sectional studies, and uncontrolled longitudinal studies were included for data synthesis.
Data synthesis: The literature provides a solid physiological rationale for the use of noninvasive positive pressure ventilation in children with pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome. The addition of noninvasive positive pressure ventilation can improve gas exchange and potentially prevent intubation and mechanical ventilation in some children with mild pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome. Noninvasive positive pressure ventilation is not indicated in severe pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome. Noninvasive positive pressure ventilation should be performed only in acute care setting with experienced team, and patient-ventilator synchrony is crucial for success. An oronasal interface provides superior support, but close monitoring of children is required due to the risk of progressive respiratory failure and the potential need for intubation. The use of high-flow nasal cannula is a promising treatment for respiratory disease; however, at this time, the efficacy of high-flow nasal cannula compared with noninvasive positive pressure ventilation is unknown.
Conclusion: Noninvasive positive pressure ventilation can be beneficial in children with pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome, particularly in those with milder disease. However, further research is needed into the use of noninvasive positive pressure ventilation in children.