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Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2008 Mar;14(2):128-34. doi: 10.1097/MCP.0b013e3282f379fc.

Noninvasive home ventilation for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: indications, utility and outcome.

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1
Center for Pneumology, Hospital Donaustauf, Donaustauf, Germany. stephan.budweiser@klinik.uni-regensburg.de

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:

Despite its widespread use, the role of noninvasive home mechanical ventilation for the management of severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and chronic hypercapnic respiratory failure is still controversial. The majority of randomized controlled trials show methodological weaknesses, including issues of patient selection, insufficient pressure support and poor adherence to therapy. Data from short-term trials, while assuring effective ventilation, are encouraging by demonstrating physiological improvements, in line with benefits regarding symptoms and quality of life. The role of home mechanical ventilation for long-term survival is, however, still unclear.

RECENT FINDINGS:

Possible indications of home mechanical ventilation, physiological concepts underlying the effects of noninvasive ventilation and their impact on clinically important long-term outcomes are reported.

SUMMARY:

Due to systemic involvement, the decision to undertake home mechanical ventilation should probably not be based on symptomatic chronic hypercapnia alone, but on a broader spectrum of factors. In particular, patients with repeated hypercapnic decompensation are at high risk for death and obvious candidates for home mechanical ventilation. Beyond restoration of chemosensitivity, changes in breathing pattern and a reduction of mechanical load are likely mechanisms of home mechanical ventilation, inducing symptom relief and improving functional reserve. To fully utilize its potential, high pressure levels are required. Future prospective controlled studies should take into account these experiences.

PMID:
18303422
DOI:
10.1097/MCP.0b013e3282f379fc
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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