© 2019 Background: Non-invasive mechanical ventilation (NIV) is a standard respiratory support technique used in intensive care units. High-Flow Nasal Cannula (HFNC) has emerged as an alternative, but further evidence is needed. The lung aeration and diaphragm changes achieved with these two strategies in healthy subjects have not been compared to date. Methods: Twenty healthy subjects were recruited. Ten were ventilated with NIV and ten underwent HFNC. Lung impedance and diaphragmatic ultrasound measurements were performed before and after 30 min of respiratory support. The Mar-index was defined as the ratio of the diaphragm excursion-time index to the respiratory rate. Results: Both groups showed significant decreases in respiratory rate (NIV: 14.4 (4.1) vs 10.4 (1.6), p = 0.009; HFNC: 13.6 (4.3) vs 7.9 (1.5) bpm, p = 0.002) and significant increases in the end-expiratory lung impedance (EELI) (NIV: 66,348(10,761) vs. 73,697 (6858), p = 0.005; HFNC: 66,252 (9793) vs 69,869 (9135), p = 0.012). NIV subjects showed a significant increase in non-dependent silent spaces (4.13 (2.25) vs 5.81 (1.49)%, p = 0.037) while the increase was more homogeneous with HFNC. The variation in EELI tended to be higher in NIV than in HFNC (8137.08 (6152.04) vs 3616.94 (3623.03), p = 0.077). The Mar-index was higher in HFNC group (13.15 vs 5.27 cm-sec2/bpm, p = 0.02). Conclusions: NIV and HFNC increased EELI in healthy subjects, suggesting an increase in the functional residual capacity. The EELI increase may be higher in NIV, but HFNC produced a more homogeneous change in lung ventilation. HFNC group has a higher MAR-index that could reflect a different ventilatory system adaptation.
- Diaphragmatic ultrasound
- Electrical impedance tomography
- High-flow nasal cannula
- Lung aeration
- Non-invasive ventilation