Nasal continuous positive airway pressure (NCPAP) is a strategy for maintaining positive airway pressure throughout the respiratory cycle through the application of bias flow of respiratory gas to an apparatus attached to the nose. Treatment with NCPAP is associated with decreased risk of mechanical ventilation and might be effective in reducing chronic lung disease. Nasal intermittent positive pressure ventilation (NIPPV) is a form of noninvasive ventilation during which patients are exposed intermittently to higher levels of airway pressure, along with NCPAP through the same nasal device.
To examine the risks and benefits of early NIPPV versus early NCPAP alone for preterm infants at risk of or in respiratory distress within the first hours after birth.Primary endpoints are respiratory failure and the need for intubated ventilatory support during the first week of life. Secondary endpoints include chronic lung disease (CLD) (oxygen therapy at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age), air leaks, duration of respiratory support, duration of oxygen therapy, intraventricular hemorrhage, and incidence of mortality.
We used the standard search strategy of the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group to search the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL; 2015, Issue 9), MEDLINE via PubMed (1966 to September 28, 2015), Embase (1980 to September 28, 2015), and the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL; 1982 to September 28, 2015). We also searched clinical trials databases, conference proceedings, and the reference lists of retrieved articles for randomized controlled trials and quasi-randomized trials. A member of the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group handsearched abstracts from the European Society of Pediatric Research (ESPR). We contacted the authors of ongoing clinical trials to ask for information.
We considered all randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials. Studies selected compared NIPPV versus NCPAP treatment, starting at birth or shortly thereafter in preterm infants (< 37 weeks' gestational age).
We performed data collection and analysis using the recommendations of the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group.
Ten trials, enrolling a total of 1061 infants, met criteria for inclusion in this review. Meta-analyses of these studies showed significantly reduced risk of meeting respiratory failure criteria (typical risk ratio (RR) 0.65, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.51 to 0.82; typical risk difference (RD) -0.09, 95% CI -0.13 to -0.04) and needing intubation (typical RR 0.78, 95% CI 0.64 to 0.94; typical RD -0.07, 95% CI -0.12 to -0.02) among infants treated with early NIPPV compared with early NCPAP. The meta-analysis did not demonstrate a reduction in the risk of CLD among infants randomized to NIPPV (typical RR 0.78, 95% CI 0.58 to 1.06). Investigators observed no evidence of harm. Review authors graded the quality of the evidence as moderate (unblinded studies).
Early NIPPV does appear to be superior to NCPAP alone for decreasing respiratory failure and the need for intubation and endotracheal tube ventilation among preterm infants with respiratory distress syndrome. Additional studies are needed to confirm these results and to assess the safety of NIPPV compared with NCPAP alone in a larger patient population.