Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) is the delivery of assisted mechanical ventilation to the lungs, without the use of an invasive endotracheal airway. NIV has revolutionised the management of patients with various forms of respiratory failure. It has decreased the need for invasive mechanical ventilation and its attendant complications. Cardiogenic pulmonary oedema (CPO) is a common medical emergency, and NIV has been shown to improve both physiological and clinical outcomes. From the data presented herein, it is clear that there is sufficiently high level evidence to favour the use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), and that the use of CPAP in patients with CPO decreases intubation rate and improves survival (number needed to treat seven and eight respectively). However, there is insufficient evidence to recommend the use of bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP), probably the exception being patients with hypercapnic CPO. More trials are required to conclusively define the role of BiPAP in CPO.
- CPO, cardiogenic pulmonary oedema
- NIV, non-invasive ventilation
- CPAP, continuous positive airway pressure
- BiPAP, bilevel positive airway pressure
- EPAP, expiratory positive airway pressure
- IPAP, inspiratory positive airway pressure
- non-invasive ventilation
- pulmonary oedema
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Conflicts of interest: none.