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Review Article   

Minerva Anestesiologica 2022 Apr 13

DOI: 10.23736/S0375-9393.22.16258-9

Copyright © 2022 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Incidence, clinical characteristics and outcome of barotrauma in critically ill patients with COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Michele UMBRELLO , Roberto VENCO, Edoardo ANTONUCCI, Sergio CEREGHINI, Clelia FILARDO, Luigi GUGLIELMETTI, Giulia MONTANARI, Stefano MUTTINI

Unit of Anesthesia and Resuscitation II, San Carlo Borromeo Hospital, ASST Santi Paolo e Carlo, Milan, Italy



INTRODUCTION: Barotrauma is rare in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome undergoing mechanical ventilation. Its incidence seems increased among critically ill COVID-19 patients. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate the incidence, risk factors and clinical outcomes of barotrauma among critically ill COVID-19 patients
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: PubMed was searched from March 1st, 2020 to August 31st, 2021; case series and retrospective cohort studies concerning barotrauma in adult critically ill COVID-19 patients, either hospitalized in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) or invasively ventilated were included. Primary outcome was the incidence of barotrauma in COVID-19 versus non-COVID-19 patients. Secondary outcomes were clinical characteristics, ventilator parameters, mortality and length of stay between patients with and without barotrauma.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: We identified 21 studies (six case series, 15 retrospective cohorts). The overall incidence of barotrauma was 11 [95% CI: 8-14]% in critically ill COVID-19 patients, vs. 2 [1-3]% in non-COVID-19, P<0.001; the incidence in mechanically ventilated patients was 14 [11-17]% vs. 4 [2-5]% non-COVID-19 patients, P<0.001. There were no differences in demographic, clinical, ventilatory parameters between patients who did and did not develop barotrauma, while, on average, protective ventilation criteria were always respected. Among COVID-19 patients, those with barotrauma had a higher mortality (60 [55-66] vs. 48 [42-54]%, P<0.001) and a longer ICU length of stay (20 [14-26] vs. 13 [10,5-16] days, P=0.03).
CONCLUSIONS: Barotrauma is a frequent complication in critically ill COVID-19 patients and is associated with a poor prognosis. Since lung protective ventilation was delivered, the ventilatory management might not be the sole factor in the development of barotrauma.


KEY WORDS: Barotrauma; Pneumothorax; COVID-19; Critical illness; Intensive care units

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