When is noninvasive ventilation (NIV) indicated?

Updated: Jun 18, 2020
  • Author: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Zab Mosenifar, MD, FACP, FCCP  more...
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Noninvasive ventilation (NIV) has been used in a number of clinical situations, but it seems to be most effective in patients with acute respiratory failure due to underlying chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or congestive heart failure (CHF). These represent the hypercapnic and hypoxemic conditions best suited for noninvasive ventilation, but, obviously, other conditions can also be treated with noninvasive ventilation.

Other diagnoses are regularly added to the list as experience accumulates. The common theme that suggests successful application noninvasive ventilation for all of these other conditions is a reasonably rapidly reversible condition with noninvasive ventilation as an adjunct to therapy. Other parameters, as outlined in General Considerations, are also important for the successful application of noninvasive ventilation. Noninvasive ventilation is likely to be successful in selected patients with these diagnoses, but the evidence to date does not support universal application of noninvasive ventilation in these patients. The following highlights the main considerations in each condition. [53, 54, 55, 56]

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