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Korean J Intern Med. 2016 Jan;31(1):82-8. doi: 10.3904/kjim.2016.31.1.82. Epub 2015 Dec 28.

Clinical efficacy of high-flow nasal cannula compared to noninvasive ventilation in patients with post-extubation respiratory failure.

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Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



Post-extubation respiratory failure (PERF) is associated with poor clinica l outcomes. High-f low nasa l cannula (HF NC) ox ygen therapy has been used in patients with respiratory failure, but the clinical benefit in patients with PERF remains unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical efficacy of HFNC compared to noninvasive ventilation (NIV) in patients with PERF.


A historic retrospective cohort analysis was performed in 28 beds in the medical Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at a single medical center in South Korea. In total, 73 patients with PERF were enrolled: 39 patients who underwent NIV from April 2007 to March 2009 and 34 patients who received HFNC from April 2009 to May 2011.


The rate of avoidance of reintubation was not different between the HFNC group (79.4%) and NIV group (66.7%, p = 0.22). All patients with HFNC tolerated the device, whereas five of those with NIV did not tolerate treatment (p = 0.057). The mean duration of ICU stay was significantly shorter in the HFNC group than in the NIV group (13.4 days vs. 20.6 days, p = 0.015). There was no difference in ICU or in-hospital mortality rate.


HFNC is likely to be as effective as, and better tolerated than, NIV for treatment of PERF.


High-flow nasal cannula; Noninvasive ventilation; Post-extubation respiratory failure

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