Noninvasive respiratory support following extubation in critically ill adults: a systematic review and network meta-analysis

Shannon M. Fernando, Alexandre Tran, Behnam Sadeghirad, Karen E.A. Burns, Eddy Fan, Daniel Brodie, Laveena Munshi, Ewan C. Goligher, Deborah J. Cook, Robert A. Fowler, Margaret S. Herridge, Pierre Cardinal, Samir Jaber, Morten Hylander Møller, Arnaud W. Thille, Niall D. Ferguson, Arthur S. Slutsky, Laurent J. Brochard, Andrew J.E. Seely, Bram Rochwerg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose: Systematic review and network meta-analysis to investigate the efficacy of noninvasive respiratory strategies, including noninvasive positive pressure ventilation (NIPPV) and high-flow nasal cannula (HFNC), in reducing extubation failure among critically ill adults. Methods: We searched databases from inception through October 2021 for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating noninvasive respiratory support therapies (NIPPV, HFNC, conventional oxygen therapy, or a combination of these) following extubation in critically ill adults. Two reviewers performed screening, full text review, and extraction independently. The primary outcome of interest was reintubation. We used GRADE to rate the certainty of our findings. Results: We included 36 RCTs (6806 patients). Compared to conventional oxygen therapy, NIPPV (OR 0.65 [95% CI 0.52–0.82]) and HFNC (OR 0.63 [95% CI 0.45–0.87]) reduced reintubation (both moderate certainty). Sensitivity analyses showed that the magnitude of the effect was highest in patients with increased baseline risk of reintubation. As compared to HFNC, no difference in incidence of reintubation was seen with NIPPV (OR 1.04 [95% CI 0.78–1.38], low certainty). Compared to conventional oxygen therapy, neither NIPPV (OR 0.8 [95% CI 0.61–1.04], moderate certainty) or HFNC (OR 0.9 [95% CI 0.66–1.24], low certainty) reduced short-term mortality. Consistent findings were demonstrated across multiple subgroups, including high- and low-risk patients. These results were replicated when evaluating noninvasive strategies for prevention (prophylaxis), but not in rescue (application only after evidence of deterioration) situations. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that both NIPPV and HFNC reduced reintubation in critically ill adults, compared to conventional oxygen therapy. NIPPV did not reduce incidence of reintubation when compared to HFNC. These findings support the preventative application of noninvasive respiratory support strategies to mitigate extubation failure in critically ill adults, but not in rescue conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-147
Number of pages11
JournalIntensive Care Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Critical care medicine
  • Extubation failure
  • High-flow nasal cannula
  • Mechanical ventilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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