Background: Bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) has recently been used in preterm infants with respiratory distress as an alternative to nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP) because, theoretically, BiPAP is thought to be more effective than nCPAP. However, the results of some studies comparing nCPAP with BiPAP as the initial respiratory support were controversial. The aim of this study is to compare the clinical effectiveness and safety of nCPAP with BiPAP at gestational ages of 30+0 to 34+6 weeks. Methods: A total of 93 infants with gestational ages of 30+0 to 34+6 weeks, who presented with respiratory distress within 24 h after birth, were randomized to the nCPAP group or the BiPAP group. The primary outcome was the incidence of treatment failure with these two non-invasive respiratory support devices. Criteria for treatment failure included any of the following: respiratory acidosis (PaCO2 >65 mmHg with pH <7.2), hypoxia (FiO2 >0.4), or apnea (>2–3 episodes of apnea/h). Results: There was no statistically significant difference in treatment failure between the two groups (P = 0.576). The risk difference comparing treatment failure rate between nCPAP and BiPAP groups was −4.7% (95% CI: −21.5–11.9). Conclusions: Nasal continuous positive airway pressure is not inferior to BiPAP as an initial management of respiratory distress in these premature infants. We therefore conclude that nCPAP can be used as an initial management for preterm infants at gestational age of between 30 and 35 weeks as a substitute for BiPAP.
- bi-level positive airway pressure
- moderate preterm infant
- nasal continuous positive airway pressure
- non-invasive ventilation
- respiratory support
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health