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    Use of bilevel positive airway pressure (BIPAP) in end-stage patients with cystic fibrosis awaiting lung transplantation.


    Caronia CG, Silver P, Nimkoff L, et al. 


    Clin Pediatr (Phila) 1998 Sep; 37(9) :555-9.


    Nine consecutive end-stage patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) awaiting lung transplantation were admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) in respiratory decompensation. They all received noninvasive bilevel positive airway pressure (BIPAP) support and were evaluated to determine whether or not it improved their oxygenation and provided them with long-term respiratory stability. BIPAP was applied to all patients after a brief period of assessment of their respiratory status. Inspiratory and expiratory positive airway pressures (IPAP, EPAP) were initially set at 8 and 4 cm H2O respectively. IPAP was increased by increments of 2 cm H2O and EPAP was increased by 1 cm H2O increments until respiratory comfort was achieved and substantiated by noninvasive monitoring. Patients were observed in the PICU for 48 to 72 hours and then discharged to home with instructions to apply BIPAP during night sleep and whenever subjectively required. Regular follow-up visits were scheduled through the hospital-based CF clinic. The patients' final IPAP and EPAP settings ranged from 14 to 18 cm H2O and 4 to 8 cm H2O, respectively. All nine patients showed a marked improvement in their respiratory status with nocturnal use of BIPAP at the time of discharge from the PICU. Their oxygen requirement dropped from a mean of 4.6 +/- 1.1 L/min to 2.3 +/- 1.5 L/min (P < 0.05). Their mean respiratory rate decreased from 34 +/- 4 to 28 +/- 5 breaths per minute (P < 0.05). The oxygen saturation of hemoglobin measured by pulse oximetry, significantly increased from a mean of 80% +/- 15% to 91% +/- 5% (P < 0.05). The patients have been followed up for a period of 2 to 43 months and have all tolerated the use of home nocturnal BIPAP without any reported discomfort. Six patients underwent successful lung transplantation after having utilized nocturnal BIPAP for 2, 6, 14, 15, 26, and 43 months, respectively. Three patients have utilized home BIPAP support for 2, 3, and 19 months, respectively, and continue to await lung transplantation. An acute development of refractory respiratory failure resulted in the demise of the remaining three patients after having utilized BIPAP for 3, 6, and 10 months, respectively. The authors conclude that BIPAP therapy improves the respiratory status of decompensating end-stage CF patients. It is well tolerated for long-term home use and provides an extended period of respiratory comfort and stability for CF patients awaiting lung transplantation.


    Cystic Fibrosis
    Lung Transplantation
    Positive-Pressure Respiration
    Respiratory Insufficiency
    Waiting Lists



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