Incidence of ventilator associated pneumonia in burn patients with inhalation injury treated with high frequency percussive ventilation versus volume control ventilation: A systematic review

Haitham S. Al Ashry, George Mansour, Andre C. Kalil, Ryan W. Walters, Renuga Vivekanandan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Background Pneumonia increases mortality in burn patients with inhalation injuries. We evaluated whether the use of High Frequency Percussive Ventilation (HFPV) in burn patients with inhalation injuries can decrease rates of Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (VAP) compared to Volume Control Ventilation (VCV). Methods Data were gathered from PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, reference lists, and hand search. For unpublished data we searched and RePORTER. We included observational and Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) that compared rates of VAP with the use of HFPV and VCV in adult burn patients with inhalation injury. Two reviewers independently extracted data from the retrieved studies and assessed them for eligibility, methodology, and quality. Results 281 abstracts were reviewed, of which 4 studies (540 patients) were included. Two were observational and two were RCTs. All studies had moderate risk of bias. One study had low external validity while others had moderate external validity. The two observational studies found non-concordant results. One study found a 24% statistically significant reduction in the rates of VAP while the other found no difference. The two RCTs had small sample sizes. There was no significant difference in VAP rates between HFPV and VCV. The VCV arms of the four studies were heterogeneous. Only one study used low tidal volumes, whereas the rest used high tidal volumes in the VCV arm. Conclusion Evidence about decreased incidence of VAP in burn patients with inhalation injuries who are on HFPV compared to those on VCV is inconclusive. Although enhanced airway clearance by HFPV was thought to play a role in decreasing VAP in this population, high tidal volume in the VCV arms could be a confounding factor that should be eliminated in future studies before a firm conclusion can be reached. More RCTs comparing HFPV to low tidal volume VCV are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1193-1200
Number of pages8
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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