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Pediatr Pulmonol. 2019 Nov;54(11):1742-1746. doi: 10.1002/ppul.24464. Epub 2019 Aug 2.

NAVA-synchronized compared to nonsynchronized noninvasive ventilation for apnea, bradycardia, and desaturation events in VLBW infants.

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Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU, Richmond, Virginia.
Division of Neonatal Medicine, Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU, Richmond, Virginia.


Neurally adjusted ventilatory assistance (NAVA) can overcome technical difficulties with synchronizing noninvasive ventilation breaths with the patient, a modality often used in very low birthweight infants (VLBW) with apnea of prematurity (AOP). This study is a retrospective single-center investigation into whether NAVA-synchronized noninvasive (niNAVA) ventilation is better than nonsynchronized (nasal intermittent positive pressure ventilation [nIPPV]) for symptomatic apnea in VLBW infants. Nursing records of apnea, bradycardia, and/or desaturations were abstracted from the electronic medical records of 108 VLBW infants admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) from 2015 to 2017 who received either of the two modalities, 61 epochs of niNAVA totaling 488 days and 103 epochs of nIPPV totaling 886.5 days. niNAVA was associated with a significant reduction in the number of isolated bradycardic events/day (0.48 ± 0.14 vs 1.35 ± 0.27; P = .019) and overall bradycardias/day (2.42 ± 0.47 vs 4.02 ± 0.53; P = .042) and there were more epochs with no events with niNAVA compared with nIPPV (23.0% vs 6.8%; P = .004). These results justify a prospective trial of NAVA-synchronized noninvasive ventilation for VLBW infants with caffeine-resistant AOP.


neurally adjusted ventilator assistance; prematurity


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