Noninvasive mechanical ventilation as a palliative treatment of acute respiratory failure in patients with end-stage solid cancer

Annamaria Cuomo, Monica Delmastro, Piero Ceriana, Stefano Nava, Giorgio Conti, Massimo Antonelli, Emanuele Iacobone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Noninvasive ventilation (NIV) is widely used in the treatment of acute respiratory failure (ARF), but not in patients with end-stage solid cancer in whom any form of mechanical ventilation tends to be avoided. In a prospective study, we investigated the use of NIV in 23 patients with solid malignancies receiving palliative care and who were affected by severe hypoxic or hypercapnic ARF. The most frequent causes of ARE were exacerbations of preexisting pulmonary diseases and pneumonia. After one hour, NIV significantly improved PaO2/FiO2 (from 154±48 to 187±55) and the Borg dyspnoea score (from 5.5±1.2 to 2.3± 0.3). NIV also improved pH, but only in the subset of hypercapnic patients. Thirteen of 23 (57%) patients were successfully ventilated and discharged alive, while 10/23 patients (43%) met the criteria for intubation or died after an initial trial of NIV. Only two of these patients accepted invasive ventilation. The mortality rate in this subgroup was 9/10 (90%). A higher Simplified Acute Physiology Score (SAPS II) and a lower PaO2/FiO2 on admission were associated with a lower probability of survival. Patients with ARF and end-stage solid malignancies have an overall ICU and 1-year mortality rate of 39% and 87%, respectively, but despite this, a consistent subset of patients may still be successfully treated with NIV, if the cause of ARF is reversible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)602-610
Number of pages9
JournalPalliative Medicine
Volume18
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Keywords

  • Acute respiratory failure
  • Noninvasive ventilation
  • Palliative care
  • Solid cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Nursing(all)

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