High flow through nasal cannula in exacerbated COPD patients: a systematic review.Pulmonology 2019 Nov - Dec; 25(6):348-354P
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) history is characterized by episodes of exacerbation of varying severity, featured by acute worsening of respiratory symptoms, commonly precipitated by respiratory tract infection. The recent ERS/ATS clinical practice guidelines strongly recommend the application of non invasive ventilation (NIV) for patients with acute respiratory failure (ARF) leading to acute or acute-on-chronic respiratory acidosis (pH 7.35) and not for those patients with acute exacerbation of COPD (AECOPD) and hypercapnia who are not acidotic. In recent years, High-Flow through Nasal Cannula (HFNC) has been introduced in the clinical practice. We designed the present systematic review of the literature to assess all effects of HFNC use reported in exacerbated COPD patients. In this setting, HFNC is able to keep PaCO2 unmodified, while oxygenation slightly deteriorates as opposed to NIV. Furthermore, the work of breathing is reduced with HFNC by a similar extent to NIV, while it increases by 40-50% during conventional oxygen therapy (COT). HFNC is also reported to be more comfortable than COT and NIV. Despite these results, little and limited evidence for improved clinical outcomes is currently available.