Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2017 October; 72(10): 618-623.

Copyright © 2017 CLINICS

Effect of prophylactic non-invasive mechanical ventilation on functional capacity after heart valve replacement: a clinical trial

Amaro Afrânio de Araújo-Filho I II * , Manoel Luiz de Cerqueira-Neto III IV , Lucas de Assis Pereira Cacau II , Géssica Uruga Oliveira III , Telma Cristina Fontes Cerqueira IV , Valter Joviniano de Santana-Filho III

Nucleo de Pos Graduacao em Ciencias da Saude, Universidade Federal de Sergipe, Aracaju, SE, BR

Departamento de Fisioterapia, Universidade Tiradentes - UNIT, Aracaju, SE, BR

Departamento de Fisioterapia, Universidade Federal de Sergipe - UFS, Aracaju, SE, BR

Departamento de Fisioterapia, Universidade Federal de Sergipe - UFS, Lagarto, SE, BR

*Corresponding author. E-mail:

received April 4, 2017; revised May 7, 2017; accepted August 2, 2017.



During cardiac surgery, several factors contribute to the development of postoperative pulmonary complications. Non-invasive ventilation is a promising therapeutic tool for improving the functionality of this type of patient. The aim of this study is to evaluate the functional capacity and length of stay of patients in a nosocomial intensive care unit who underwent prophylactic non-invasive ventilation after heart valve replacement.


The study was a controlled clinical trial, comprising 50 individuals of both sexes who were allocated by randomization into two groups with 25 patients in each group: the control group and experimental group. After surgery, the patients were transferred to the intensive care unit and then participated in standard physical therapy, which was provided to the experimental group after 3 applications of non-invasive ventilation within the first 26 hours after extubation. For non-invasive ventilation, the positive pressure was 10 cm H2O, with a duration of 1 hour. The evaluation was performed on the 7th postoperative day/discharge and included a 6-minute walk test. The intensive care unit and hospitalization times were monitored in both groups. Brazilian Registry of Clinical Trials (REBeC): RBR number 8bxdd3.


Analysis of the 6-minute walk test showed that the control group walked an average distance of 264.34±76 meters and the experimental group walked an average distance of 334.07±71 meters (p=0.002). The intensive care unit and hospitalization times did not differ between the groups.


Non-invasive ventilation as a therapeutic resource was effective toward improving functionality; however, non-invasive ventilation did not influence the intensive care unit or hospitalization times of the studied cardiac patients.

Keywords: Thoracic Surgery, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, Walk Test

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