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Rivista di Anestesia, Rianimazione, Terapia Antalgica e Terapia Intensiva

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Anesthesiology, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care
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Minerva Anestesiologica 2011 July;77(7):734-41


lingua: Inglese

Non invasive ventilation in cardio-surgical patients

Guarracino F. 1, Ambrosino N. 2, 3

1 Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit, Cardio-Thoracic Department, University Hospital Pisa, Italy; 2 Pulmonary and Respiratory Intensive Care Unit, Cardio-Thoracic Department, University Hospital Pisa, Italy; 3 Weaning and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Unit, Auxilium Vitae, Volterra, Italy


Non invasive ventilation (NIV), primarily applied in cardiogenic pulmonary edema, decompensated COPD and hypoxemic respiratory failure, has also found a wide application in the postoperative period. The expanding indications to the transcatheter treatment of diseased left heart valves have led to an increase in cardiac interventional and diagnostic procedures in severely fragile cardiac patients. As an essential part of post cardiac surgery care is ventilatory support, NIV use has expanded to cardiosurgical patients. The objective of this study was to investigate the application and the results of preventive and curative NIV in patients after cardiac surgery. Despite limited data and the necessity of randomized trials, the NIV should be considered in selected patients with postoperative acute respiratory failure as a tool to both prevent and treat acute respiratory failure following patient weaning from mechanical ventilation and tracheal extubation. The knowledge and the real time assessment of the possible effects of positive pressure ventilation on cardiopulmonary interactions in the clinical scenario of cardiac surgery will prompt the intensivists to tailor the respiratory support by non invasive ventilation to the individual patient. The influence on the cardiovascular system of positive pressure and volume delivered through the airways, which can be highly favorable on the impaired left heart and less favorable on the diseased right heart, should be considered when applying NIV in a cardio-surgical patient. As a consequence, the application of NIV in this setting requires an expertly skilled team, continuous hemodynamic monitoring and echocardiographic assessment.

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