Though nasal continuous positive airway pressure (NCPAP) is commonly used for non-invasive neonatal respiratory support, the optimal method of weaning NCPAP is not established. In this prospective, two-center randomized control trial we hypothesize that gradually increasing spontaneous breathing time off NCPAP increases successful weaning from NCPAP in infants born < 31 weeks gestational age.STUDY DESIGN:
Infants were randomized to one of the two NCPAP weaning protocols, a sprinting, that is, gradually increasing spontaneous breathing time off CPAP, protocol vs a non-sprinting (weaning pressure down) protocol.RESULT:
Eighty-six infants were enrolled in one of the two study groups. Thirty-one infants (77%) in the sprinting group and 30 (75%) in the non-sprinting group were successfully weaned off NCPAP at the first attempt (P > 0.05). It took 1.3 (1 to 1.75) (median (IQR)) attempts and 7 (7 to 7) days to wean NCPAP off in the sprinting group vs 1.3 (1 to 1.75) attempts and 7 (7 to 10) days in the non-sprinting group (P > 0.05). Additionally, no differences in the secondary outcomes of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, severe retinopathy of prematurity (≥ stage 3), periventricular leukomalacia and length of stay were noted between the two groups.CONCLUSION:
Weaning NCPAP via sprinting or non-sprinting protocol is comparable, not only for successful weaning but also for the occurrence of common neonatal morbidities that impact the long-term outcome in premature infants (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02819050).