Commentary on High-Flow Nasal Cannula and Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Practices After the First-Line Support for Assistance in Breathing in Children Trials.

Journal Article (Review;Journal Article)

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and heated humidified high-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) are commonly used to treat children admitted to the PICU who require more respiratory support than simple oxygen therapy. Much has been published on these two treatment modalities over the past decade, both in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine (PCCM ) and elsewhere. The majority of these studies are observational analyses of clinical, administrative, or quality improvement datasets and, therefore, are only able to establish associations between exposure to treatment and outcomes, not causation. None of the initial randomized clinical trials comparing HFNC and CPAP were definitive due to their relatively small sample sizes with insufficient power for meaningful clinical outcomes (e.g., escalation to bilevel noninvasive ventilation or intubation, duration of PICU-level respiratory support, mortality) and often yielded ambiguous findings or conflicting results. The recent publication of the First-Line Support for Assistance in Breathing in Children (FIRST-ABC) trials represented a major step toward understanding the role of CPAP and HFNC use in critically ill children. These large, pragmatic, randomized clinical trials examined the efficacy of CPAP and HFNC either for "step up" (i.e., escalation in respiratory support) during acute respiratory deterioration or for "step down" (i.e., postextubation need for respiratory support) management. This narrative review examines the body of evidence on HFNC published in PCCM , contextualizes the findings of randomized clinical trials of CPAP and HFNC up to and including the FIRST-ABC trials, provides guidance to PICU clinicians on how to implement the literature in current practice, and discusses remaining knowledge gaps and future research priorities.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Shein, SL; Kneyber, MCJ; Rotta, AT

Published Date

  • December 1, 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 23 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 1076 - 1083

PubMed ID

  • 36250746

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1529-7535

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/PCC.0000000000003097


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States