Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

We examined systematically all controlled and cross-over randomised trials in patients with acute exacerbations of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease comparing Heliox against air-oxygen mixtures. Fourteen studies were identified. In asthma studies, peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) was increased by an average of 29.6% (95% CI 16.6-42.6) by Heliox-driven nebulisers, or by 13.3 l.min(-1) (95% CI 3.71-22.81) absolute. In studies of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease receiving non-invasive ventilation the arterial carbon dioxide tension (P(a)co(2)) and respiratory rate were unchanged: weighted mean difference for P(a)co(2)-0.29kPa (95% CI - 0.64-0.07) favoured Heliox, and for respiratory rate 1.6 breaths.min(-1) (95% CI - 0.93, 4.14) favoured control. Heliox minimally reduced the work of breathing in intubated patients, and reduced intrinsic positive end expiratory pressure (iPEEP). The use of Heliox to drive nebulisers in patients with acute asthma slightly improves airflow measures. We were unable to determine whether this improved recovery.

Original publication

DOI

10.1111/j.1365-2044.2006.04897.x

Type

Journal article

Journal

Anaesthesia

Publication Date

01/2007

Volume

62

Pages

34 - 42

Keywords

Adult, Asthma, Cross-Over Studies, Forced Expiratory Volume, Helium, Humans, Nebulizers and Vaporizers, Oxygen, Peak Expiratory Flow Rate, Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, Respiration, Artificial, Work of Breathing