, Volume 37, Issue 7, pp 1087-1094
Date: 22 Mar 2011

Daily titration of neurally adjusted ventilatory assist using the diaphragm electrical activity

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To determine the feasibility of daily titration of the neurally adjusted ventilatory assist (NAVA) level in relation to the maximal diaphragmatic electrical activity (EAdimaxSBT) measured during a spontaneous breathing trial (SBT) during pressure support ventilation (PSV).


The study included 15 consecutive patients in whom mechanical ventilation weaning was initiated with the NAVA mode. EAdimaxSBT was determined daily during an SBT using PSV with 7 cmH2O of inspiratory pressure and no positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP). If the SBT was unsuccessful, NAVA was used and the level was then adjusted to obtain an EAdi of ~60% of the EAdimaxSBT. Arterial blood gas analyses were performed 20 min after each change in NAVA level.


Three patients were dropped from the study at day 4 because of worsening of their sickness. The median duration of NAVA ventilation was 4.5 days (IQR 3–6.5). From day 1 to extubation, EAdimaxSBT and EAdi increased significantly from 16.6 (9.6) to 21.7 (10.3) μV (P = 0.013) and from 10.0 (5.5) to 15.1 (9.2) μV (P = 0.026), respectively. The pressure delivered significantly decreased from 20 (8) to 10 (5) cmH2O (P = 0.003). Conversely, tidal volume, carbon dioxide tension, and pH values remained unchanged during the same period.


These results suggest that daily titration of NAVA level with an electrical goal of ~60% EAdimaxSBT is feasible and well tolerated. The respiratory mechanics improvement and increase in respiratory drive allowed for a daily reduction of the NAVA level while preserving breathing, oxygenation, and alveolar ventilation until extubation.

This study was presented in part at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the French Society of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Paris, September 23, 2010.