Rationale: The role of inspiratory effort still has to be determined as a potential predictor of noninvasive mechanical ventilation (NIV) failure in acute hypoxic de novo respiratory failure.Objectives: To explore the hypothesis that inspiratory effort might be a major determinant of NIV failure in these patients.Methods: Thirty consecutive patients with acute hypoxic de novo respiratory failure admitted to a single center and candidates for a 24-hour NIV trial were enrolled. Clinical features, tidal change in esophageal pressure (ΔPes), tidal change in dynamic transpulmonary pressure (ΔPl), expiratory Vt, and respiratory rate were recorded on admission and 2-4 to 12-24 hours after NIV start and were tested for correlation with outcomes.Measurements and Main Results: ΔPes and ΔPes/ΔPl ratio were significantly lower 2 hours after NIV start in patients who successfully completed the NIV trial (n = 18) compared with those who needed endotracheal intubation (n = 12) (median [interquartile range], 11 [8-15] cm H2O vs. 31.5 [30-36] cm H2O; P < 0.0001), whereas other variables differed later. ΔPes was not related to other predictors of NIV failure at baseline. NIV-induced reduction in ΔPes of 10 cm H2O or more after 2 hours of treatment was strongly associated with avoidance of intubation and represented the most accurate predictor of treatment success (odds ratio, 15; 95% confidence interval, 2.8-110; P = 0.001 and area under the curve, 0.97; 95% confidence interval, 0.91-1; P < 0.0001).Conclusions: The magnitude of inspiratory effort relief as assessed by ΔPes variation within the first 2 hours of NIV was an early and accurate predictor of NIV outcome at 24 hours.Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT03826797).
Keywords: acute respiratory distress syndrome; esophageal pressure swings; noninvasive mechanical ventilation; respiratory failure; transpulmonary pressure.