Objectives: Different outcomes and success rates of non-invasive positive pressure ventilation (NPPV) in patients with acute hypercapnic respiratory failure (AHRF) still pose a significant problem in intensive care units. Previous studies investigating different modes, body positioning, and obesity-associated hypoventilation in patients with chronic respiratory failure showed that these factors may affect ventilator mechanics to achieve a better minute ventilation. This study tried to compare pressure support (BiPAP-S) and average volume targeted pressure support (AVAPS-S) modes in patients with acute or acute-on-chronic hypercapnic respiratory failure. In addition, short-term effects of body position and obesity within both modes were analyzed.
Material and methods: We conducted a randomized controlled study in a 7-bed intensive care unit. The course of blood gas analysis and differences in ventilation variables were compared between BiPAP-S (n=33) and AVAPS-S (n=29), and between semi-recumbent and lateral positions in both modes.
Results: No difference was found in the length of hospital stay and the course of PaCO2, pH, and HCO3 levels between the modes. There was a mean reduction of 5.7±4.1 mmHg in the PaCO2 levels in the AVAPS-S mode, and 2.7±2.3 mmHg in the BiPAP-S mode per session (p<0.05). Obesity didn't have any effect on the course of PaCO2 in both the modes. Body positioning had no notable effect in both modes.
Conclusion: Although the decrease in the PaCO2 levels in the AVAPS-S mode per session was remarkably high, the course was similar in both modes. Furthermore, obesity and body positioning had no prominent effect on the PaCO2 response and ventilator mechanics. Post hoc power analysis showed that the sample size was not adequate to detect a significant difference between the modes.
Keywords: AVAPS; acute respiratory failure; bilevel; non-invasive mechanical ventilation; pressure support.