Background: Non-invasive mechanical ventilation (NIPPV) is an accepted choice of treatment in patients with chronic pulmonary disease and/or acute respiratory failure. Recently NIPPV was also proposed in the postoperative weaning period.
Patients and methods: Six of 30 patients after lung transplantation were were extubated despite a weaning failure was predicted using well accepted weaning criteria. Therefore, the 6 patients were treated with intermittent-noninvasive ventilation using assisted modes of mechanical ventilation (PSV/CPAP).
Results: Both, oxygenation (increase in paO2: 18 mm Hg during PSV, 11 mm Hg during CPAP) and pulmonary mechanics (decrease in respiratory rate: 14/min during PSV, 10/min during CPAP; increase in tidal volume: 5 ml/kg during PSV, 3 ml/kg KG during CPAP) improved and the energy expenditure decreased (19% during PSV, 12% during CPAP).
Conclusion: Non-invasive ventilation after lung transplantation enables earlier extubation and prevents weaning failure.