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Table 2 Quality of evidence of the studies that compared HFNC to COT that were included in the meta-analysis, according to Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE)

From: High-flow nasal cannula oxygen therapy is superior to conventional oxygen therapy but not to noninvasive mechanical ventilation on intubation rate: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Outcomes Anticipated absolute effects (95% CI) Relative effect OR, (95% CI) Participants
(studies), n
Risk of bias Inconsistency Indirection Imprecision Publication bias Quality of the evidence (GRADE)
Risk with COT Risk with HFNC
Intubation rate 102/907 (11.2%) 67/947 (7.0%) 0.52 (0.34, 0.79) 1854 (8 RCTs) Seriousa Not serious Not serious Not serious Undetected Moderate
Mechanical ventilation rate 145/937 (15.5%) 98/977 (10.0%) 0.56 (0.33, 0.97) 1914 (9 RCTs) Seriousa Seriousb Not serious Not serious Undetected Low
Escalation rate 167/937 (17.8%) 98/977 (10.0%) 0.45 (0.31, 0.67) 1914 (9 RCTs) Seriousa Not serious Not serious Not serious Undetected Moderate
Mortality 51/732 (6.8%) 57/765 (7.4%) 1.01 (0.67, 1.53) 1497 (5 RCTs) Seriousa Not serious Not serious Seriousc Undetected Low
  1. COT conventional oxygen therapy, NIV noninvasive mechanical ventilation, HNFC high-flow nasal cannula oxygen, OR odds ratio, RCT randomized controlled trial
  2. aUnblinded intervention
  3. b I 2, 60%
  4. cWide CI