Three Part Question
In [patients with acute LVF] is [NIPPV better than alternative treatment strategies] at [avoiding intubation and improving mortality]?
A 76 year old male is brought in to A&E in a collapsed state. He has a history of ischaemic heart disease. He is agitated, tachypnoeic and sweating profusely. His neck veins are distended and there are widespread coarse crepitations in his chest. He has a diminshed oxygen saturation. You make a clinical diagnosis of acute cardiogenic pulmonary oedema. In addition to vasodilator treatment and opiates, you wonder whether you should administer non-invasive positive pressure ventilation (NIPPV).
Medline 1966-08/01 using OVID interface.
[exp pulmonary edema/ or "pulmonary edema".mp or exp ventricular dsyfunction, left/ or exp heart failure, congestive/ or exp myocardial infarction/ or "Left ventricular failure".mp or "lvf".mp] AND [exp positive-pressure respiration/ or exp intermittent positive-pressure ventilation/ or exp respiration, artificial/ or "non-invasive ventilation".mp or "bilevel".mp or "BiPAP".mp or "pressure support".mp] LIMIT to (human and english language) AND maximally sensitive RCT filter.
208 papers were found, of which 4 randomised controlled trials directly addressed the three part question.
|Author, date and country
||Study type (level of evidence)
|Mehta S et al,|
|27 patients with ACPO
NIPPV vs CPAP
||Prospective randomised controlled trial||Clinical variables||BP and PaCO2 lower in NIPPV group (p<0.05) ||Small numbers
Study stopped early due to MI differences.
NIPPV had more chest pain at baseline
|Incidence of myocardial infarction||10/14 in NIPPV group vs 4/13 with CPAP (p=0.05)|
|Length of ICU/hospital stay, intubation rates, mortality||N/S differences between groups|
|Sharon A et al,|
|40 patients with ACPO
NIPPV and low dose nitrates vs high dose nitrates alone
||Prospective randomised controlled trial||Mortality||2/20 in NIPPV group vs 0/20 (N/S)||No power calculation
Study stopped early due to differences in rate of intubation
|Intubation rate||16/20 in NIPPV group vs 2/20 (p=0.0004)|
|Incidence of myocardial infarction||11/20 in NIPPV group vs 2/20 (p=0.006)|
|SaO2, pulse and respiratory rates||Improvement significantly slower with NIPPV|
|Masip J et al,|
|40 patients with ACPO
NIPPV vs O2||PRCT||Mortality||Control 2/18|
|Not analysed on basis of intention to treat
Small numbers with likely effect of underpowered study|
|Hospital stay||No significant difference between groups|
|Park M et al,|
|26 patients with ACPO
O2 vs BiPAP vs CPAP||PRCT||Clinical variables (e.g. RR,HR etc.)||No difference at 60 mins||Small numbers
No power calculation
No clear randomisation|
|Intubation||O2 – 4/10|
CPAP – 3/9
BiPAP – 0/7
|Death||O2 – 0|
CPAP – 1 (day 3)
BiPAP - 0
This group of trials compared NIPPV with different alternative treatments; oxygen, continuous positive airways pressure (CPAP) or high dose medical therapy. One study showed a benefit in the reduction of intubation rates when NIPPV is compared to oxygen alone, but others have reported evidence of harm with an increased incidence of myocardial infarction in the NIPPV groups. CPAP has already been shown to be of benefit in this patient group (5).
Clinical Bottom Line
The evidence for the use of NIPPV in acute pulmonary oedema is moot. At present CPAP is the safer proven option.
- Mehta S, Jay GD, Woolard RH, et al. Randomized, prospective trial of bilevel versus continuous positive airway pressure in acute pulmonary edema. Crit Care Med 1997;25(4):620-8.
- Sharon A, Shpirer I, Kaluski E, et al. High-dose intravenous isosorbide-dinitrate is safer and better than Bi-PAP ventilation combined with conventional treatment for severe pulmonary edema. J Am Coll Cardiol 2000;36(3):832-7.
- Masip J, Betbese AJ, Paez J, et al. Non-invasive pressure support ventilation versus conventional oxygen therapy in acute cardiogenic pulmonary oedema: a randomised trial. Lancet 2000;356(9248):2126-32.
- Park M, Lorenzi-Filho G, Feltrim MI, et al. Oxygen therapy, continuous positive airway pressure, or non-invasive bilevel positive pressure ventilation in the treatment of acute cardiogenic pulmonary edema. Arquivos Brasileiros de Cardiologia 2001;76(3):221-30.