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Pediatr Pulmonol. 1995 May;19(5):269-74.

Does continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) during weaning from intermittent mandatory ventilation in very low birth weight infants have risks or benefits? A controlled trial.

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Departamento de Pediatría, Hospital Clínico de la Universidad Católica, Santiago, Chile.



The purpose of this study was to evaluate three ventilator weaning strategies and to evaluate whether the use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) via a nasopharyngeal or endotracheal tube would increase the likelihood of extubation failure in very low birth weight (VLBW) infants.


We studied prospectively 87 preterm infants (mean +/- SD; birth weight: 1078 +/- 188 g; gestational age: 28.8 +/- 2.2 weeks) who were in the process of being weaned from intermittent mandatory ventilation (IMV). Infants were assigned by systematic sampling to one of the following three treatment groups: (1) direct extubation from IMV (D.EXT) (n = 30); (2) preextubation endotracheal CPAP (ET-CPAP) for 12-24 hr (n = 28); or (3) postextubation nasopharyngeal CPAP (NP-CPAP) for 12-24 hr (n = 29). Failure was defined as the need for resumption of mechanical ventilation within 72 hr of extubation due to frequent or severe apnea and/or respiratory failure (pH < 7.25, PaCO2 > 60 mm Hg, and/or requirement for oxygen FiO2 > 60%).


There were no significant differences in failure rates among the three procedures. Failures were 2/30 (7%) in D.EXT; 4/28 (14%) in ET-CPAP; and 7/29 (24%) in the NP-CPAP. There were also no differences in FiO2, PaO2, and respiratory rates before and after discontinuation of IMV among the three groups. PaCO2 values were slightly higher in the NP-CPAP group 12-24 hr after weaning from IMV.


We were unable to demonstrate a clear difference in extubation outcome by use of CPAP administered via an endotracheal or nasopharyngeal tube when compared to direct extubation from low-rate IMV in VLBW infants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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