How does noninvasive ventilation (NIV) differ from invasive ventilation?

Updated: Jun 18, 2020
  • Author: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Answer

Answer

In its simplest terms, noninvasive ventilation differs from invasive ventilation by the interface between the patient and the ventilator. Invasive ventilatory support is provided via either an endotracheal tube or tracheostomy tube. Noninvasive ventilatory support uses a variety of interfaces, and these have continued to evolve with modifications based on patient comfort and efficacy. Many of the interfaces or masks were initially used in patients with obstructive sleep apnea before they were adapted for use in patients to provide noninvasive ventilatory support.

Nasal masks and orofacial masks were the earliest interfaces, with subsequent development and use of full face masks, mouthpieces, nasal pillows, and helmets. Nasal masks and orofacial masks are still the most commonly used interfaces. Orofacial masks are used almost twice as frequently as nasal masks. Both have advantages and disadvantages in the application of noninvasive ventilation.

Note the images below.

Nasal mask. Courtesy of Philips Healthcare (previo Nasal mask. Courtesy of Philips Healthcare (previously Respironics).
Full face mask. Courtesy of Philips Healthcare (pr Full face mask. Courtesy of Philips Healthcare (previously Respironics).
Total face mask. Courtesy of Philips Healthcare (p Total face mask. Courtesy of Philips Healthcare (previously Respironics).
Helmet mask. Courtesy of Harol S. R. L. Helmet mask. Courtesy of Harol S. R. L.

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