Comparison of Interfaces for the Delivery of Noninvasive Respiratory Support to Low Birthweight Infants

Respir Care. 2018 Oct;63(10):1197-1206. doi: 10.4187/respcare.05978.


Background: Bench and clinical data indicate that techniques for applying noninvasive respiratory support may vary in terms of effectiveness, application, and tolerability. We implemented a new nasal interface and flow-generation system for the delivery of noninvasive respiratory support (NRS) to replace previously used systems. Our goal was to determine whether there were significant differences in clinically relevant outcomes between our new method and conventional systems.

Methods: We conducted a prospective observational study of preterm infants requiring noninvasive respiratory support during our initial implementation of a new nasal interface (RAM), and compared these data with a historic control group. Demographic, baseline, and clinical outcome data were collected. Clinical outcomes and comorbid conditions were compared by using the chi-square test for categorical information and the Student t test or Wilcoxon rank-sum test for quantitative data, depending on normality testing when using the Shapiro-Wilk test. Uni- and multivariate logistic regression were conducted to determine predictive factors for the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia.

Results: There were no significant group differences in important comorbid conditions, invasive mechanical ventilation days (P = .16), or NRS failure within the first 7 d after birth (P = .10). Although there were no significant differences in the use of CPAP or noninvasive ventilation, settings with were significantly higher (P < .001) in the RAM group. There were more incidences of retinopathy of prematurity (P = .02) post RAM implementation, and the time to first reintubation was significantly shorter in the RAM group (P = .044). However, there were significant reductions post RAM in total days on any respiratory support (P = .009), total NRS days (P = .02), and supplemental O2 duration (P = .02). There was a trend toward reductions in bronchopulmonary dysplasia rates (P = .053), and the incidence of device-related tissue breakdown was significantly reduced (P < .001) post RAM. Multivariate logistic regression results showed the type of system (odds ratio [OR] 0.19, 95% CI 0.04-0.87; P = .032) and total invasive ventilation time (OR 0.94, 95% CI 0.89-0.99; P = .02) were predictors for the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia.

Conclusions: The ability to apply continuous distending pressure through consistent application of NRS with the RAM cannula attached to a ventilator may improve clinical outcomes, including the duration of respiratory support and pressure-ulcer rates. The influence of this system on the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia and the significantly increased retinopathy of prematurity requires further study.

Keywords: bronchopulmonary dysplasia; extremely low birthweight (ELBW); high-flow nasal cannula; nasal CPAP; noninvasive respiratory support; noninvasive ventilation; pressure ulcer; preterm infant; very low birthweight (VLBW).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Editorial
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia / etiology
  • Cannula*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Noninvasive Ventilation / adverse effects*
  • Noninvasive Ventilation / instrumentation*
  • Oxygen Inhalation Therapy
  • Premature Birth / therapy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / etiology
  • Time Factors