Intraoperative prophylactic and therapeutic non-invasive ventilation: A systematic review

L. Cabrini, L. Nobile, V. P. Plumari, G. Landoni, G. Borghi, M. Mucchetti, A. Zangrillo, R. P. Mahajan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


SummaryNon-invasive ventilation (NIV) has been used to prevent or to treat perioperative acute respiratory failure (ARF). Intraoperative prophylactic and therapeutic use of NIV could be of interest to patients with anticipated difficulty in postoperative weaning from mechanical ventilation or to patients refusing tracheal intubation. Intraoperative NIV might also be useful when deep sedation is required, as this can cause respiratory depression. PubMed, Embase, Google Scholar, and Cochrane Library were searched for pertinent studies. Inclusion criteria were NIV use during surgery and adult patients; the exclusion criteria were NIV application only in the preoperative or postoperative periods, paediatric patients, NIV applied as negative pressure ventilation. Thirty papers including 618 patients were included for final analysis. Intraoperative therapeutic NIV to treat ARF was reported for 92 patients and in all those cases, including six Caesarean sections, surgery was completed uneventfully. Intraoperative prophylactic NIV to avoid ARF was described in 24 patients with severe respiratory limitation and in 502 healthy patients during deep sedation. Three patients could not be successfully ventilated due to upper airway obstruction, but no further complication was reported. Intraoperative NIV appears feasible, safe, and potentially useful, particularly when tracheal intubation is best avoided. However, high-quality, randomized studies are required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)638-647
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of Anaesthesia
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • deep sedation
  • intraoperative care
  • intraoperative complications
  • non-invasive ventilation
  • respiratory insufficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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