BACKGROUND: High-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) is a key component of oxygen therapy and has largely been used in patients with acute respiratory failure. We conducted a matched controlled study with the aim to compare the preventive use of oxygen therapy delivered by HFNC versus via air-entrainment mask (standard O2) after extubation in adult subjects with liver transplantation for reducing postextubation hypoxemia.
METHODS: Twenty-nine subjects with liver transplantation who received HFNC after extubation (HFNC group) were matched 1:1 with 29 controls (standard O2 group) chosen from an historical group of 90 subjects admitted to the ICU during the previous 36 months. The primary outcome of the study was the incidence of hypoxemia at 1 h and 24 h after extubation. Secondary outcomes were the rate of weaning failure, ICU length of stay, and 28-d mortality.
RESULTS: The incidence of hypoxemia was not significantly different between the HFNC and standard O2 groups at 1 h and 24 h after extubation. In the HFNC group, there was a trend toward a lower rate of weaning failure compared with the standard O2 group. ICU length of stay and 28-d mortality were similar in both groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Early application of HFNC in the subjects with liver transplantation did not reduce the incidence of hypoxemia after extubation compared with standard O2 and did not modify the incidence of weaning failure, ICU length of stay, and 28-d mortality in this high-risk population of subjects. (ClinicalTrials.gov registration NCT03441854.).