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JOURNAL ARTICLE

High-flow nasal cannula oxygen therapy versus conventional oxygen therapy in patients with acute respiratory failure: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Youfeng Zhu, Haiyan Yin, Rui Zhang, Jianrui Wei
BMC Pulmonary Medicine 2017 December 13, 17 (1): 201
29237436

BACKGROUND: Acute respiratory failure (ARF) is a common and life-threatening medical emergency in patients admitted to the hospital. Currently, there is a lack of large-scale evidence on the use of high-flow nasal cannulas (HFNC) in patients with ARF. In this systematic review and meta-analysis, we evaluated whether there were differences between HFNC therapy and conventional oxygen therapy (COT) for treating patients with ARF.

METHODS: The EMBASE, Medline, and Wanfang databases and the Cochrane Library were searched. Two investigators independently collected the data and assessed the quality of each study. Randomized controlled trials that compared HFNC therapy with COT in patients with ARF were included. RevMan 5.3 was used to conduct the meta-analysis.

RESULTS: Four studies that involved 703 patients with ARF were included, with 371 patients in the HFNC group and 332 patients in the COT group. In the overall estimates, there were no significant differences between the HFNC and COT groups in the rates of escalation of respiratory support (RR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.37, 1.27; z = 1.20, P = 0.23), intubation (RR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.55, 1.00; z = 1.95, P = 0.05), mortality (RR, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.36, 1.88; z = 0.47, P = 0.64), or ICU transfer (RR, 1.09; 95% CI, 0.57, 2.09; z = 0.26, P = 0.79) during ARF treatment. However, the subgroup analysis showed that HFNC therapy may decrease the rate of escalation of respiratory support (RR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.53, 0.97; z = 2.15, P = 0.03) and the intubation rate (RR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.53, 0.97; z = 2.15, P = 0.03) when ARF patients were treated with HFNC therapy for ≥24 h compared with COT.

CONCLUSIONS: HFNC therapy was similar to COT in ARF patients. The subgroup analysis showed that HFNC therapy may decrease the rate of escalation of respiratory support and the intubation rate when ARF patients were treated with HFNC for ≥24 h compared with COT. Further high-quality, large-scale studies are needed to confirm our results.

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