There is evidence that new methods of noninvasive ventilation (NIV) support have significantly changed respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) management in preterm infants. Further perspectives for neonatologists involve the assessment of different NIV strategies in terms of availability, effectiveness, and failure. This study evaluates the efficacy of 2 different NIV strategies for RDS treatment in very low birth weight (VLBW) infants: nasal synchronized intermittent positive pressure ventilation (NSIPPV), which is a modality of conventional ventilation with intermittent peak inspiratory pressure, and bilevel continuous positive airway pressure (BiPAP), not synchronized, with 2 alternate levels of continuous positive airway pressure.
We conducted a 2-center randomized control study in 124 VLBW infants (<1500 g and <32 weeks of gestational age) with RDS who received NIV support (NSIPPV, n = 62; BiPAP, n = 62) within 2 hours of birth. We evaluated the performance of NIV strategies by selected primary outcomes (failure rate and duration of ventilation) and secondary outcomes.
The number of failures and duration of ventilation support did not differ between NSIPPV and BiPAP strategies (P > .05 for both). Moreover, no differences between groups were found regarding secondary outcomes (P > .05 for all).
The present data show no statistically significant differences between NSIPPV and BiPAP strategies in terms of duration of ventilation and failures, suggesting that both NIV techniques are effective in the early treatment of RDS in VLBW infants. Further randomized investigations on wider populations are needed to evaluate the effect of NIV techniques on long-term outcomes.