J Korean Med Sci.  2020 Jun;35(25):e194. 10.3346/jkms.2020.35.e194.

Comparison of Postextubation Outcomes Associated with High-Flow Nasal Cannula vs. Conventional Oxygen Therapy in Patients at High Risk of Reintubation: a Randomized Clinical Trial

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Chungbuk National University Hospital, Chungbuk National University College of Medicine, Cheongju, Korea


Liberation and extubation are important for patients supported by mechanical ventilation. Extubation success is related to the duration of an intensive care unit (ICU) stay and mortality rate. High-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) oxygen therapy has physiological and clinical benefits in respiratory care. The present study compared clinical outcomes associated with HFNC and conventional oxygen therapy (COT) among patients at high risk for reintubation.
A single-center randomized clinical trial was conducted between March 2018 and June 2019. Sixty adults admitted to the ICU and who were at high-risk of reintubation and met the inclusion criteria were enrolled in this study. “High risk” for reintubation was defined as having at least one of the following risk factors: age > 65 years, Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score > 12 points on extubation day, obesity, poor expectoration, airway patency problems, difficult or prolonged weaning, and more than one comorbidity. The primary outcome of interest was reintubation within 72 hours. Secondary outcomes included duration of ICU and hospital stay, mortality rate, and time to reintubation.
Of 60 patients, 31 received HFNC and 29 received COT (mean age, 78 ± 7.8 vs. 76 ± 6.5 years, respectively). Reintubation rate within 72 hours did not differ between the groups (3 patients [9.7%] vs. 1 patient [3.4%], respectively). Reintubation time was shorter among patients who received COT than among patients who received HFNC (0.5 hour vs. 25 hours), but this difference was not statistically significant. Duration of ICU did not differ between the groups (14.7 ± 9.6 days vs. 13.8 ± 15.7 days, for HFNC and COT, respectively).
Among patients at high risk for reintubation, compared with COT, HFNC did not reduce the risk of reintubation within 72 hours.


Nasal Cannula; Oxygen; Mechanical Ventilation; Older Adults
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