Diaphragm-triggered non-invasive respiratory support in preterm infants

Dimple Goel, Ju Lee Oei, John Smyth, Tim Schindler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Diaphragm-triggered non-invasive respiratory support, commonly referred to as NIV-NAVA (non-invasive neurally adjusted ventilatory assist), uses the electrical activity of the crural diaphragm to trigger the start and end of a breath. It provides variable inspiratory pressure that is proportional to an infant's changing inspiratory effort. NIV-NAVA has the potential to provide effective, non-invasive, synchronised, multilevel support and may reduce the need for invasive ventilation; however, its effects on short- and long-term outcomes, especially in the preterm infant, are unclear. Objectives: To assess the effectiveness and safety of diaphragm-triggered non-invasive respiratory support in preterm infants (< 37 weeks' gestation) when compared to other non-invasive modes of respiratory support (nasal intermittent positive pressure ventilation (NIPPV); nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP); high-flow nasal cannulae (HFNC)), and to assess preterm infants with birth weight less than 1000 grams or less than 28 weeks' corrected gestation at the time of intervention as a sub-group. Search methods: We used the standard search strategy of Cochrane Neonatal to search the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL 2019, Issue 5), MEDLINE via PubMed (1946 to 10 May 2019), Embase (1947 to 10 May 2019), and CINAHL (1982 to 10 May 2019). We also searched clinical trials databases, conference proceedings, and the reference lists of retrieved articles for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-randomised trials. Selection criteria: Randomised and quasi-randomised controlled trials that compared diaphragm-triggered non-invasive versus other non-invasive respiratory support in preterm infants. Data collection and analysis: Two review authors independently selected trials, assessed trial quality and extracted data from included studies. We performed fixed-effect analyses and expressed treatment effects as mean difference (MD), risk ratio (RR), and risk difference (RD) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). We used the generic inverse variance method to analyse specific outcomes for cross-over trials. We used the GRADE approach to assess the certainty of evidence. Main results: There were two small randomised controlled trials including a total of 23 infants eligible for inclusion in the review. Only one trial involving 16 infants included in the analysis reported on either of the primary outcomes of the review. This found no difference in failure of modality between NIV-NAVA and NIPPV (RR 0.33, 95% CI 0.02 to 7.14; RD −0.13, 95% CI -0.41 to 0.16; 1 study, 16 infants; heterogeneity not applicable). Both trials reported on secondary outcomes of the review, specific for cross-over trials (total 22 infants; 1 excluded due to failure of initial modality). One study involving seven infants reported a significant reduction in maximum FiO₂ with NIV-NAVA compared to NIPPV (MD −4.29, 95% CI −5.47 to −3.11; heterogeneity not applicable). There was no difference in maximum electric activity of the diaphragm (Edi) signal between modalities (MD −1.75, 95% CI −3.75 to 0.26; I² = 0%) and a significant increase in respiratory rate with NIV-NAVA compared to NIPPV (MD 7.22, 95% CI 0.21 to 14.22; I² = 72%) on a meta-analysis of two studies involving a total of 22 infants. The included studies did not report on other outcomes of interest. Authors' conclusions: Due to limited data and very low certainty evidence, we were unable to determine if diaphragm-triggered non-invasive respiratory support is effective or safe in preventing respiratory failure in preterm infants. Large, adequately powered randomised controlled trials are needed to determine if diaphragm-triggered non-invasive respiratory support in preterm infants is effective or safe.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberCD012935
JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


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