BACKGROUND It is not known whether long term nocturnal mechanical ventilation (NMV) reduces pulmonary hypertension in patients with chronic respiratory failure (CRF).
METHODS Pulmonary haemodynamics, spirometric values, and gas exchange were studied in 33 patients requiring NMV due to CRF (20 with thoracic restriction, 13 with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)) at baseline and after 1 year of NMV given in the volume cycled mode. Patients with COPD also received supplemental oxygen.
RESULTS Long term NMV improved gas exchange while lung function remained unchanged. Mean pulmonary artery pressure at rest before NMV was higher in patients with thoracic restriction than in those with COPD (33 (10) mm Hgv 25 (6) mm Hg). After 1 year of NMV mean pulmonary artery pressure decreased in patients with thoracic restriction to 25 (6) mm Hg (mean change –8.5 mm Hg (95% CI –12.6 to –4.3), p<0.01) but did not change significantly in patients with COPD (mean change 2.2 mm Hg (95% CI –0.3 to 4.8)).
CONCLUSIONS Long term NMV in CRF improves pulmonary haemodynamics in patients with thoracic restriction but not in patients with COPD.
- chronic respiratory failure
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- non-invasive mechanical ventilation
- pulmonary hypertension
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