Update: non-invasive ventilation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) remains a common cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Patients with COPD and respiratory failure, whether acute or chronic have a poorer prognosis than patients without respiratory failure. Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) has been shown to be a useful tool in both the acute hospital and chronic home care setting. NIV has been well established as the gold standard therapy for acute decompensated respiratory failure complicating an acute exacerbation of COPD with reduced mortality and intubation rates compared to standard therapy. However, NIV has been increasingly used in other clinical situations such as for weaning from invasive ventilation and to palliate symptoms in patients not suitable for invasive ventilation. The equivocal evidence for the use of NIV in chronic hypercapnic respiratory failure complicating COPD has recently been challenged with data now supporting a role for therapy in selected subgroups of patients. Finally the review will discuss the emerging role of high flow humidified therapy to support or replace NIV in certain clinical situation.