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Long-Term Noninvasive Ventilation in Chronic Stable Hypercapnic Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. An Official American Thoracic Society Clinical Practice Guideline

Macrea M, et al
Citation: Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2020;202(4):e74-e87.,

Background: Noninvasive ventilation (NIV) is used for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and chronic hypercapnia. However, evidence for clinical efficacy and optimal management of therapy is limited.

Target Audience: Patients with COPD, clinicians who care for them, and policy makers.

Methods: We summarized evidence addressing five PICO (patients, intervention, comparator, and outcome) questions. The GRADE (Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation) approach was used to evaluate the certainty in evidence and generate actionable recommendations. Recommendations were formulated by a panel of pulmonary and sleep physicians, respiratory therapists, and methodologists using the Evidence-to-Decision framework.

Recommendations:1) We suggest the use of nocturnal NIV in addition to usual care for patients with chronic stable hypercapnic COPD (conditional recommendation, moderate certainty); 2) we suggest that patients with chronic stable hypercapnic COPD undergo screening for obstructive sleep apnea before initiation of long-term NIV (conditional recommendation, very low certainty); 3) we suggest not initiating long-term NIV during an admission for acute-on-chronic hypercapnic respiratory failure, favoring instead reassessment for NIV at 2-4 weeks after resolution (conditional recommendation, low certainty); 4) we suggest not using an in-laboratory overnight polysomnogram to titrate NIV in patients with chronic stable hypercapnic COPD who are initiating NIV (conditional recommendation, very low certainty); and 5) we suggest NIV with targeted normalization of PaCO2 in patients with hypercapnic COPD on long-term NIV (conditional recommendation, low certainty).

Conclusions: This expert panel provides evidence-based recommendations addressing the use of NIV in patients with COPD and chronic stable hypercapnic respiratory failure.

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