Volume 19 Supplement 1

35th International Symposium on Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine

Open Access

Does it make a difference to add automatic EPAP titration to the volume-targeted pressure support mode in noninvasive ventilation of hypercapnic ICU patients?

  • G Gursel1,
  • A Zerman1,
  • B Basarik1,
  • K Gonderen1,
  • M Aydogdu1 and
  • S Memmedova1
Critical Care201519(Suppl 1):P251


Published: 16 March 2015


Obese patients are increasing in number in ICUs and more than 90% of them also have sleep apnea syndrome. Variability in upper airway resistance during sleep and awakening periods makes it difficult to set EPAP in these patients. A new mode that automatically titrates EPAP according to upper airway resistance and IPAP according to target tidal volume may be more effective. The aim of this study is to evaluate whether adding automatic EPAP titration to the volume-targeted pressure support mode will provide any therapeutic advantages in hypercapnic ICU patients.


The hypercapnic patients treated with average volume-assured pressure support-automatic EPAP (AVAPS-AE) mode (Group1 (G1)) were compared with those treated with AVAPS mode (Group 2 (G2)). G2 was recruited retrospectively and matched with G1 according to diagnoses, demographic characteristics, arterial blood gas values and daily noninvasive ventilation (NIV) usage times. Trilogy 100® devices and their software Directview® (Philips Respironics) were used to reveal the respiratory data such as pressures, volumes, and daily usage times. For statistical analyses, t test, chi-square test and repeated measures of ANOVA were used.


Twenty-eight patients were included in G1 and 22 patients in G2. There was no significant difference between the patients' admission parameters and daily NIV usage times. PaCO2 decreased >5 mmHg in 93% of G1 patients and in 60% of G2 patients in the first 6 hours (P = 0.044). A 10 mmHg reduction in PaCO2 occurred in more patients (93% vs. 60%, P = 0.004) and in a shorter time (1.8 ± 1.2 vs. 3 ± 3 days, P = 0.044) in G1. At the time of discharge, PaCO2 levels were <50 mmHg in 79% of G1 and 41% of G2 patients (P = 0.006). Both groups showed similar and significant improvements in PaO2, PaCO2 and HCO3- levels within the first 4 days but only in G1 patients were HCO3- levels decreased more rapidly than G2 patients (P = 0.007). Duration of NIV (6 ± 2 vs. 8 ± 3 days, P = 0.002) and the number of mode and pressures changes (0.3 ± 1.8 vs. 2 ± 2 times, P >0.0001) were significantly less in G1. While mean IPAP was similar in both groups, maximum and minimum EPAP titrated automatically in G1 were significantly different from G2. Mean tidal volume and amount of leakage were also significantly higher in G1.


These results suggest that the AVAPS-AE mode may provide some advantages in hypercapnic ICU patients such as rapid PaCO2 reduction, less NIV duration and workload.

Authors’ Affiliations

Gazi University Medical Faculty


© Gursel et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2015

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.