Electrical activity of the diaphragm during nCPAP and high flow nasal cannula

C. G. De Waal*, G. J. Hutten, J. V. Kraaijenga, F. H. De Jongh, A. H. Van Kaam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To determine if the electrical activity of the diaphragm, as measure of neural respiratory drive and breathing effort, changes over time in preterm infants transitioned from nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP) to high flow nasal cannula (HFNC). Design Prospective observational study. Setting Neonatal intensive care unit. Patients Stable preterm infants transitioned from nCPAP to HFNC using a 1:1 pressure to flow ratio. Interventions The electrical activity of the diaphragm was measured by transcutaneous electromyography (dEMG) from 30â €..min before until 3â €..hours after the transition. Main outcome measures At eight time points after the transition to HFNC, diaphragmatic activity was compared with the baseline on nCPAP. Percentage change in amplitude dEMG, peak dEMG and tonic dEMG were calculated. Furthermore, changes in respiratory rate, heart rate and fraction of inspired oxygen (FiO 2) were analysed. Results Thirty-Two preterm infants (mean gestational age: 28.1±2.2â €..weeks, mean birth weight: 1118±368â €..g) were included. Compared with nCPAP, the electrical activity of the diaphragm did not change during the first 3â €..hours on HFNC (median (IQR) change in amplitude dEMG at t=180â €..min: 2.81% (â'21.51-14.10)). The respiratory rate, heart rate and FiO 2 remained stable during the 3-hour measurement. Conclusions Neural respiratory drive and breathing effort assessed by electrical activity of the diaphragm is similar in the first 3â €..hours after transitioning stable preterm infants from nCPAP to HFNC with a 1:1 pressure-To-flow ratio.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)F434-F438
JournalArchives of Disease in Childhood: Fetal and Neonatal Edition
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Diaphragmatic activity
  • High flow nasal cannula
  • nCPAP
  • Respiratory support


Dive into the research topics of 'Electrical activity of the diaphragm during nCPAP and high flow nasal cannula'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this