Nasal versus oronasal masks for home non-invasive ventilation in patients with chronic hypercapnia: a systematic review and individual participant data meta-analysis

Thorax. 2021 Nov;76(11):1108-1116. doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2020-215613. Epub 2021 Apr 15.


Background: The optimal interface for the delivery of home non-invasive ventilation (NIV) to treat chronic respiratory failure has not yet been determined. The aim of this individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis was to compare the effect of nasal and oronasal masks on treatment efficacy and adherence in patients with COPD and obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS).

Methods: We searched Medline and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials for prospective randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of at least 1 month's duration, published between January 1994 and April 2019, that assessed NIV efficacy in patients with OHS and COPD. The main outcomes were diurnal PaCO2, PaO2 and NIV adherence (PROSPERO CRD42019132398).

Findings: Of 1576 articles identified, 34 RCTs met the inclusion criteria and IPD were obtained for 18. Ten RCTs were excluded because only one type of mask was used, or mask data were missing. Data from 8 RCTs, including 290 IPD, underwent meta-analysis. Oronasal masks were used in 86% of cases. There were no differences between oronasal and nasal masks for PaCO2 (0.61 mm Hg (95% CI -2.15 to 3.38); p=0.68), PaO2 (-0.00 mm Hg (95% CI -4.59 to 4.58); p=1) or NIV adherence (0·29 hour/day (95% CI -0.74 to 1.32); p=0.58). There was no interaction between the underlying pathology and the effect of mask type on any outcome.

Interpretation: Oronasal masks are the most used interface for the delivery of home NIV in patients with OHS and COPD; however, there is no difference in the efficacy or tolerance of oronasal or nasal masks.

Keywords: COPD pathology; non invasive ventilation; sleep apnoea.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Hypercapnia
  • Masks
  • Noninvasive Ventilation*
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Respiratory Insufficiency* / therapy