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Critical Care Research and Practice
Volume 2012, Article ID 506382, 6 pages
Clinical Study

High-Flow Nasal Interface Improves Oxygenation in Patients Undergoing Bronchoscopy

1Department of Perioperative Medicine, Intensive Care and Emergency, Cattinara Hospital, Trieste University School of Medicine, Strada di Fiume 447, 34149 Trieste, Italy
2Department of Pneumology, Cattinara Hospital, 34149 Trieste, Italy
3Carlos Chagas Filho Institute of Biophysics, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, 21949-900 RJ Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Received 26 January 2012; Revised 22 March 2012; Accepted 23 March 2012

Academic Editor: Daniel De Backer

Copyright © 2012 Umberto Lucangelo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


During bronchoscopy hypoxemia is commonly found and oxygen supply can be delivered by interfaces fed with high gas flows. Recently, the high-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) has been introduced for oxygen therapy in adults, but they have not been used so far during bronchoscopy in adults. Forty-five patients were randomly assigned to 3 groups receiving oxygen: 40 L/min through a Venturi mask (V40, ), nasal cannula (N40, ), and 60 L/min through a nasal cannula (N60, ) during bronchoscopy. Gas exchange and circulatory variables were sampled before (FiO2 = 0.21), at the end of bronchoscopy (FiO2 = 0.5), and thereafter (V40, FiO2 = 0.35). In 8 healthy volunteers oxygen was randomly delivered according to V40, N40, and N60 settings, and airway pressure was measured. At the end of bronchoscopy, N60 presented higher PaO2, PaO2/FiO2, and SpO2 than V40 and N40 that did not differ between them. In the volunteers (N60) median airway pressure amounted to 3.6 cmH2O. Under a flow rate of 40 L/min both the Venturi mask and HFNC behaved similarly, but nasal cannula associated with a 60 L/min flow produced the better results, thus indicating its use in mild respiratory dysfunctions.