Nasal bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP) versus nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) in preterm infants ≤32 weeks: A retrospective cohort study

J Paediatr Child Health. 2016 May;52(5):493-8. doi: 10.1111/jpc.13175.


Aim: To investigate whether Bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP), compared with nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), is a more effective therapeutic strategy in preterm infants ≤32 weeks.

Methods: All inborn infants between 26(+1) and 32(+6) weeks' gestation, admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU ) of Tongji Medical Hospital between 1 January, 2010 and 31 December, 2011 (the 2010-2011 cohort or CPAP cohort) and between 1 January, 2012 and 31 December, 2013 (the 2012-2013 cohort or BiPAP cohort), were retrospectively identified. The primary outcome was intubation in infants < 72 h of age; secondary outcomes were mortality and the incidence of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD).

Results: There were 213 in the 2010-2011 cohort and 243 infants in the 2012-2013 cohort. There were fewer infants intubated within the first 72 h of age in the 2012-2013 cohort than in the 2010-2011 cohort (15% vs. 23%, P < 0.05). Of the infants who received some form of positive airway pressure, 12/94 (13%) of infants on BiPAP versus 23/74 (31%) on CPAP were subsequently intubated (P < 0.01). There was no difference in the incidence of moderate and severe BPD between the two groups (7% vs. 8%, P=0.52).

Conclusions: In this retrospective cohort study, we found BiPAP, compared with CPAP, reduced the need for intubation within the first 72 h of age.

Keywords: bi-level nasal positive airway pressure; bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD); nasal continuous positive airway pressure; preterm infants.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure / methods*
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
  • Nose*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn
  • Retrospective Studies