Neurally adjusted ventilatory assist : a ventilation tool or a ventilation toy?
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Respiratory care. - Dallas, Tex.
, p. 327-335
University of Antwerp
Mechanical ventilation has, since its introduction into clinical practice, undergone a major evolution from controlled ventilation tovarious modes of assisted ventilation. Neurally adjusted ventilatory assist (NAVA) is the newest development. The implementation of NAVA requires the introduction of a catheter to measure the electrical activity of the diaphragm (EA(di)). NAVA relies, opposite to conventional assisted ventilation modes, on the EA(di) to trigger the ventilator breath and to adjust the ventilatory assist to the neural drive. The amplitude of the ventilator assist is determined by the instantaneous EA(di) and the NAVA level set by the clinician. The NAVA level amplifies the EA(di) signal and determines instantaneous ventilator assist on a breath-to-breath basis. Experimental and clinical data suggest superior patient-ventilator synchrony with NAVA. Patient-ventilator asynchrony is present in 25% of mechanically ventilated patients in the intensive care unit and may contribute to patient discomfort, sleep fragmentation, higher use of sedation, development of delirium, ventilator-induced lung injury, prolonged mechanical ventilation, and ultimately mortality. With NAVA, the reliance on the EA(di) signal, together with an intact ventilatory drive and intact breathing reflexes, allows integration of the ventilator in the neuro-ventilatory coupling on a higher level than conventional ventilation modes. The simple monitoring of the EA(di), signal alone may provide the clinician with important information to guide ventilator management, especially during the weaning process. Although, until now, little evidence proves the superiority of NAVA on clinically relevant end points, it seems evident that patient populations (eg, COPD and small children) with major patient-ventilator asynchrony may benefit from this new ventilatory tool.