Long-Term Noninvasive Ventilation in the Geneva Lake Area: Indications, Prevalence, and Modalities

Chest. 2020 Jul;158(1):279-291. doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2020.02.064. Epub 2020 Mar 31.


Background: Noninvasive ventilation (NIV) is standard of care for chronic hypercapnic respiratory failure, but indications, devices, and ventilatory modes are in constant evolution.

Research question: To describe changes in prevalence and indications for NIV over a 15-year period; to provide a comprehensive report of characteristics of the population treated (age, comorbidities, and anthropometric data), mode of implementation and follow-up, devices, modes and settings used, physiological data, compliance, and data from ventilator software.

Study design and methods: Cross-sectional observational study designed to include all subjects under NIV followed by all structures involved in NIV in the Cantons of Geneva and Vaud (1,288,378 inhabitants).

Results: A total of 489 patients under NIV were included. Prevalence increased 2.5-fold since 2000 reaching 38 per 100,000 inhabitants. Median age was 71 years, with 31% being > 75 years of age. Patients had been under NIV for a median of 39 months and had an average of 3 ± 1.8 comorbidities; 55% were obese. COPD (including overlap syndrome) was the most important patient group, followed by obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS) (26%). Daytime Paco2 was most often normalized. Adherence to treatment was satisfactory, with 8% only using their device < 3.5 h/d. Bilevel positive pressure ventilators in spontaneous/timed mode was the default mode (86%), with a low use of autotitrating modes. NIV was initiated electively in 50% of the population, in a hospital setting in 82%, and as outpatients in 15%.

Interpretation: Use of NIV is increasing rapidly in this area, and the population treated is aging, comorbid, and frequently obese. COPD is presently the leading indication followed by OHS.

Trial registry: ClinicalTrials.gov; No.: NCT04054570; URL: www.clinicaltrials.gov.

Keywords: COPD; compliance; hypoventilation syndrome; monitoring; noninvasive ventilation; obesity; prevalence; ventilator settings.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Home Care Services
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Noninvasive Ventilation*
  • Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome / therapy*
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Patient Selection*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy*
  • Switzerland

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT04054570