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VOLUME 21 , ISSUE 10 ( 2017 ) > List of Articles


A pilot study of nebulized heparin for prevention of ventilator induced lung injury: Comparative effects with an inhaled corticosteroid

Farzin Ghiasi, Mohsen Sadeghian, Mohammad Emami, Babak Kiaie

Keywords : Heparin, mechanical ventilation, nebulizer

Citation Information : Ghiasi F, Sadeghian M, Emami M, Kiaie B. A pilot study of nebulized heparin for prevention of ventilator induced lung injury: Comparative effects with an inhaled corticosteroid. Indian J Crit Care Med 2017; 21 (10):634-639.

DOI: 10.4103/ijccm.IJCCM_183_17

License: CC BY-ND 3.0

Published Online: 01-12-2016

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2017; The Author(s).


Background: Ventilator-induced lung injury (VILI) is a side effect of mechanical ventilation. Lung inflammation and pulmonary activation of coagulation are induced by mechanical stress. Clinical and preclinical studies show that heparin possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, we assessed the effects of nebulized heparin in VILI. Methods: Sixty critically ill adult patients who require mechanical ventilation for more than 48 h were included in this prospective, nonrandomized controlled study. Patients received nebulized heparin (10,000 U every 6 h) for 5 days. The matched control group received nebulized budesonide as routine practice in our center. This study assessed changes in partial pressure of oxygen to inspired fraction of oxygen ratio (PaO2/FiO2) and rapid shallow breathing index (RSBI) during the study as primary endpoints. Results: The average daily PaO2/FiO2ratio was not statistically significant between both groups (187 ± 11.6 vs. 171 ± 11.6, P = 0.35). The RSBI also did not differ between groups (P = 0.58). Heparin administration was associated with a higher number of ventilator-free days among survivors but not significantly (7.7 ± 10.6 vs. 5.1 ± 8, 95% confidence interval − 2.2–7.5, P = 0.28). Successful weaning from mechanical ventilation was higher in the heparin group (P = 0.42). We did not observe any serious or increased adverse effects from nebulized heparin. Conclusion: The results of this study show that the overall effectiveness of nebulized heparin is at least as comparable with a potent corticosteroid (budesonide). Heparin could be a safe and effective modality for patients who at risk of VILI.

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