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Ventilation Strategies Result in Similar Outcomes

High-frequency oscillatory ventilation not superior or inferior to conventional for preterm infants

TUESDAY, June 1 (HealthDay News) -- High-frequency oscillatory ventilation (HFOV), in which the lungs are continuously inflated and oscillate at a high rate through use of small volume changes, appears to be no better and no worse than conventional ventilation in preterm infants, according to research published online June 1 in The Lancet.

To assess the safety and effectiveness of HFOV compared to conventional ventilation in preterm infants, Filip Cools, M.D., of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of data from 3,229 participants in 10 randomized control trials.

The researchers found no difference in outcomes between the two ventilator techniques. In infants ventilated with HFOV, the relative risk of death or bronchopulmonary dysplasia at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age was 0.95; of death or severe adverse neurological event, 1.00; or any of these, 0.98. None of the subgroups of infants, including gestational age and birth weight for gestation, benefited more or less from HFOV than conventional ventilation.

"HFOV seems equally effective to conventional ventilation in preterm infants. Our results do not support selection of preterm infants for HFOV on the basis of gestational age, birth weight for gestation, initial lung disease severity, or exposure to antenatal corticosteroids," the authors write.

The study was partially funded by Nestlé Belgium and Dräger International, which makes Babylog infant ventilators.

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