Effect of noninvasive positive pressure ventilation on weaning success in patients receiving invasive mechanical ventilation: a meta-analysis

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Noninvasive positive pressure ventilation (NIPPV) has been proposed to shorten the duration of mechanical ventilation in intubated patients, especially those who fail initial weaning from invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV). However, there are also some discrepancies in terms of weaning success or failure, incidence of re-intubation, complications observed during study and patient outcomes. The primary objective of this update was to specifically investigate the role of NIPPV on facilitating weaning and avoiding re-intubation in patients intubated for different etiologies of acute respiratory failure, by comparing with conventional invasive weaning approach.


We searched randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing noninvasive weaning of early extubation and immediate application of NIPPV with invasive weaning in intubated patients from PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Web of Knowledge and Springerlink databases. Records from conference proceedings and reference lists of relevant studies were also identified.


A total of 11 RCTs with 623 patients were available for the present analysis. Compared with IMV, NIPPV significantly increased weaning success rates (odds ratio (OR): 2.50, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.46-4.30, P=0.0009), decreased mortality (OR: 0.39, 95% CI: 0.20-0.75, P=0.005), and reduced the incidence of ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) (OR: 0.17, 95% CI: 0.08-0.37, P <0.00001) and complications (OR: 0.22, 95% CI: 0.07-0.72, P=0.01). However, effect of NIPPV on re-intubation did not reach statistical difference (OR: 0.61, 95% CI: 0.33-1.11, P=0.11).


Early extubation and immediate application of NIPPV is superior to conventional invasive weaning approach in increasing weaning success rates, decreasing the risk of mortality and reducing the incidence of VAP and complications, in patients who need weaning from IMV. However, it should be applied with caution, as there is insufficient beneficial evidence to definitely recommend it in terms of avoiding re-intubation.

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