Friday, May 21, 2010

Non-invasive ventilation in acute cardiogenic pulmonary edema

---has been the subject of controversy. A new meta-analysis still suggests it is useful:

Data Synthesis: Compared with standard therapy, continuous positive airway pressure reduced mortality (relative risk [RR], 0.64 [95% CI, 0.44 to 0.92]) and need for intubation (RR, 0.44 [CI, 0.32 to 0.60]) but not incidence of new MI (RR, 1.07 [CI, 0.84 to 1.37]). The effect was more prominent in trials in which myocardial ischemia or infarction caused ACPE in higher proportions of patients (RR, 0.92 [CI, 0.76 to 1.10] when 10% of patients had ischemia or MI vs. 0.43 [CI, 0.17 to 1.07] when 50% had ischemia or MI). Bilevel ventilation reduced the need for intubation (RR, 0.54 [CI, 0.33 to 0.86]) but did not reduce mortality or new MI. No differences were detected between continuous positive airway pressure and bilevel ventilation on any clinical outcomes for which they were directly compared.

Limitations: The quality of the evidence base was limited. Definitions, cause, and severity of ACPE differed among the trials, as did patient characteristics and clinical settings.

Conclusion: Although a recent large trial contradicts results from previous studies, the evidence in aggregate still supports the use of NIV for patients with ACPE. Continuous positive airway pressure reduces mortality more in patients with ACPE secondary to acute myocardial ischemia or infarction.

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