Tidal breathing in preterm infants receiving and weaning from continuous positive airway pressure

Nicole Pickerd, Edgar Mark Williams, William John Watkins, Sailesh Kotecha

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    OBJECTIVE: To compare tidal breathing on different continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices and pressures and to serially measure tidal breathing during weaning off CPAP using electromagnetic inductive plethysmography.

    STUDY DESIGN: Using electromagnetic inductive plethysmography, tidal breathing was measured in 29 preterm infants receiving CPAP, gestational age 28 ± 2 weeks. Variable-flow nasal CPAP (nCPAP), bubble CPAP (bCPAP) at pressures of 5, 7, and 9 cmH2O, nasal bi-level positive airway pressure (nBiPAP) system at pressures of 5, 7/5, and 9/5 cmH2O, and unsupported breathing were studied. Twenty-one infants had weekly tidal breathing measurements on and off nCPAP.

    RESULTS: Minute volume (MV/kg) was similar between all devices (0.30-0.33 L/kg/min). On bCPAP, weight corrected tidal volume (VT/kg) was the least, changing little with increasing pressures. On nCPAP and nBiPAP, VT/kg increased with increasing pressure and the respiratory rate (fR) decreased. The delivered pressure varied slightly from the set pressure being most dissimilar on nBiPAP and similar on bCPAP. Compared with unsupported breathing, all devices decreased VT/kg, MV/kg, and phase angle, but did not alter fR. Serial tidal breathing measurements showed decreasing difference for VT/kg over time on and off nCPAP.

    CONCLUSIONS: At different pressure settings, on all CPAP devices the measured MV/kg was similar either through increasing VT/kg and decreasing fR (nCPAP and nBiPAP) or maintaining both (bCPAP). Serial tidal breathing measurements may aid weaning from CPAP.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1058-1063.e1
    JournalThe Journal of Pediatrics
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure
    • Female
    • Follow-Up Studies
    • Humans
    • Infant, Newborn
    • Infant, Premature
    • Male
    • Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
    • Plethysmography
    • Pressure
    • Respiratory Mechanics
    • Tidal Volume
    • Ventilator Weaning
    • Comparative Study
    • Journal Article
    • Randomized Controlled Trial
    • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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