Patient-ventilator asynchrony is common among critically ill patients undergoing mechanical ventilation and has been associated with adverse outcomes. Neurally adjusted ventilatory assist is a ventilatory mode that may lead to improved patient-ventilator synchrony. We conducted a systematic review to determine the impact of neurally adjusted ventilatory assist on patient-ventilator asynchrony, other physiologic variables, and clinical outcomes in adult patients undergoing invasive mechanical ventilation in comparison with conventional pneumatically triggered ventilatory modes.
We searched Medline, EMBASE, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Central, CINAHL, Scopus, Web of Science, conference abstracts, and ClinicalTrials.gov until July 2018.
Two authors independently screened titles and abstracts for randomized and nonrandomized controlled trials (including crossover design) comparing the occurrence of patient-ventilator asynchrony between neurally adjusted ventilatory assist and pressure support ventilation during mechanical ventilation in critically ill adults. The asynchrony index and severe asynchrony (i.e., asynchrony index > 10%) were the primary outcomes.
Two authors independently extracted study characteristics and outcomes and assessed risk of bias of included studies.
Of 11,139 unique citations, 26 studies (522 patients) met the inclusion criteria. Sixteen trials were included in the meta-analysis using random effects models through the generic inverse variance method. In several different clinical scenarios, the use of neurally adjusted ventilatory assist was associated with significantly reduced asynchrony index (mean difference, –8.12; 95% CI, –11.61 to –4.63; very low quality of evidence) and severe asynchrony (odds ratio, 0.42; 95% CI, 0.23–0.76; moderate quality of evidence) as compared with pressure support ventilation. Furthermore, other measurements of asynchrony were consistently improved during neurally adjusted ventilatory assist.
Neurally adjusted ventilatory assist improves patient-ventilator synchrony; however, its effects on clinical outcomes remain uncertain. Randomized controlled trials are needed to determine whether the physiologic efficiency of neurally adjusted ventilatory assist affects patient-important outcomes in critically ill adults.