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A Journal on Anesthesiology, Resuscitation, Analgesia and Intensive Care

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Anesthesiology, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care
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Minerva Anestesiologica 2014 June;80(6):712-25


language: English

Mechanical ventilation in cancer patients

Saillard C. 1, Mokart D. 2, 3, Lemiale V. 3, 4, Azoulay E. 3, 4

1 Hematology Department, Institut Paoli Calmettes, Marseille, France; 2 Polyvalent Intensive Care Unit, Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Institut Paoli Calmettes, Marseille, France; 3 Groupe de Recherche en Réanimation Respiratoire en Onco-Hématologie (GRRR-OH), Paris, France; 4 Medical Intensive Care Unit, Saint Louis Hospital, Paris, France


Acute respiratory failure (ARF) in cancer patients remains a frequent and severe complication, despite the general improved outcome over the last decade. The survival of cancer patients requiring ventilatory support in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) has dramatically improved over the last years. The diagnostic approach, including an invasive strategy using fiber optic bronchoscopy or a non-invasive strategy, must be effective to identify a diagnostic, as it is a crucial prognostic factor. The use of non-invasive ventilation (NIV) instead of invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV), has contributed to decrease mortality, but NIV has to be used in appropriate situations. Indeed, NIV failure (i.e., need for IMV) is deleterious. Classical prognostic factors are not relevant anymore. The number of organ failure at admission and over the first 7 ICU days governs outcomes. Ventilatory support can thus be included in different management contexts: full code management with unlimited use of life sustaining therapies, full code management for a limited period, no-intubation decision, or the use of palliative NIV. The objectives of this review article are to summarize the modified ARF diagnostic and therapeutic management, induced by improvements in both intensive care and onco-hematologic management and recent literature data.

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