Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 263–271 | Cite as

Neurally adjusted ventilatory assist improves patient–ventilator interaction

  • Lise Piquilloud
  • Laurence Vignaux
  • Emilie Bialais
  • Jean Roeseler
  • Thierry Sottiaux
  • Pierre-François Laterre
  • Philippe Jolliet
  • Didier Tassaux



To determine if, compared with pressure support (PS), neurally adjusted ventilatory assist (NAVA) reduces trigger delay, inspiratory time in excess, and the number of patient–ventilator asynchronies in intubated patients.


Prospective interventional study in spontaneously breathing patients intubated for acute respiratory failure. Three consecutive periods of ventilation were applied: (1) PS1, (2) NAVA, (3) PS2. Airway pressure, flow, and transesophageal diaphragmatic electromyography were continuously recorded.


All results are reported as median (interquartile range, IQR). Twenty-two patients were included, 36.4% (8/22) having obstructive pulmonary disease. NAVA reduced trigger delay (ms): NAVA, 69 (57–85); PS1, 178 (139–245); PS2, 199 (135–256). NAVA improved expiratory synchrony: inspiratory time in excess (ms): NAVA, 126 (111–136); PS1, 204 (117–345); PS2, 220 (127–366). Total asynchrony events were reduced with NAVA (events/min): NAVA, 1.21 (0.54–3.36); PS1, 3.15 (1.18–6.40); PS2, 3.04 (1.22–5.31). The number of patients with asynchrony index (AI) >10% was reduced by 50% with NAVA. In contrast to PS, no ineffective effort or late cycling was observed with NAVA. There was less premature cycling with NAVA (events/min): NAVA, 0.00 (0.00–0.00); PS1, 0.14 (0.00–0.41); PS2, 0.00 (0.00–0.48). More double triggering was seen with NAVA, 0.78 (0.46–2.42); PS1, 0.00 (0.00–0.04); PS2, 0.00 (0.00–0.00).


Compared with standard PS, NAVA can improve patient–ventilator synchrony in intubated spontaneously breathing intensive care patients. Further studies should aim to determine the clinical impact of this improved synchrony.


Mechanical ventilation Patient–ventilator interaction Neurally adjusted ventilatory assist Pressure support Partial ventilatory assist 



The authors wish to thank the Lancardis Foundation for its financial support, and Dr. Angèle Gayet-Ageron, Division of Clinical Epidemiology, University Hospital and Faculty of Medicine of Geneva, University of Geneva, Switzerland for her invaluable help with statistics.

Supplementary material

134_2010_2052_MOESM1_ESM.doc (47 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 47 kb)


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Copyright information

© Copyright jointly held by Springer and ESICM 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lise Piquilloud
    • 1
  • Laurence Vignaux
    • 1
  • Emilie Bialais
    • 2
  • Jean Roeseler
    • 2
  • Thierry Sottiaux
    • 3
  • Pierre-François Laterre
    • 2
  • Philippe Jolliet
    • 4
  • Didier Tassaux
    • 1
  1. 1.Intensive Care Unit, Clinical Research Laboratory, University Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, University of GenevaGeneva 14Switzerland
  2. 2.Intensive Care UnitUniversity Hospital St.-LucBrusselsBelgium
  3. 3.Intensive Care UnitClinique Notre Dame de GrâceGosseliesBelgium
  4. 4.Adult Intensive Care and Burn Unit, University Hospital, Faculty of Biology and Medicine, University of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

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