Early decongestive therapy versus high-flow nasal cannula for the prevention of adverse clinical events in patients with acute cardiogenic pulmonary edema

Sang Yong Om, Junho Hyun, Kyung Hun Nam, Sun Hack Lee, Seung Min Song, Jung Ae Hong, Sang Eun Lee, Min-Seok Kim


Background: Few studies have investigated the role of decongestive therapy and high-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) in preventing reintubation and in-hospital mortality in patients with acute cardiogenic pulmonary edema (ACPE).
Methods: Data from patients with ACPE who were weaned from mechanical ventilation in the cardiac intensive care unit between January 2013 and December 2017 were retrospectively evaluated. All patients were treated with HFNC or conventional oxygen therapy (COT), such as a nasal cannula or venturi mask, immediately after extubation. Decongestive therapy (intravenous furosemide infusion) was administered at the discretion of the attending physician.
Results: Of 212 patients treated during the study period, 47 were excluded due to recent open-heart surgery and two, due to insufficient clinical data. The remaining 163 patients had a mean age of 67.4±14.3 years, and 92 (56.4%) were male; 44 patients received HFNC, and 119 COT. Mean weight loss within 72 hours of extubation was −0.86±2.03 kg. A total of 38 patients (23.3%) required reintubation, 21 of whom (12.9%) required reintubation within 72 hours of extubation. In-hospital mortality occurred in 16 patients (9.8%). Multivariate analysis showed that weight increase within 72 hours of extubation was independent determinants of reintubation (OR =1.7; 95% CI: 1.2–2.2; P<0.001) and in-hospital mortality (OR =1.5; 95% CI: 1.1–2.1; P=0.005). The use of HFNC was not associated with reintubation or in-hospital mortality.
Conclusions: Our findings indicate that early weight loss resulted in reduced reintubation and in-hospital mortality in patients with ACPE. However, HFNC and COT did not differ in the prevention of reintubation and in-hospital mortality. Therefore, aggressive decongestive therapy, rather than HFNC, should be considered early after extubation.