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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


Intermittent High-Frequency Percussive Ventilation Therapy in 3 Patients with Severe COVID-19 Pneumonia

Unusual clinical course, Challenging differential diagnosis, Unusual or unexpected effect of treatment

Sergey P. Marchenko, Ecaterina Scarlatescu, Paul Robert Vogt, Alexey Naumov, Sergey Bognenko

Russian Federation Department of Cardiac Surgery, Pavlov First St. Petersburg Medical University, St. Petersburg, Russian Federation

Am J Case Rep 2021; 22:e928421

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.928421

Available online: 2020-12-22

Published: 2021-02-05


BACKGROUND: High-frequency percussive ventilation (HFPV) is a method that combines mechanical ventilation with high-frequency oscillatory ventilation. This report describes 3 cases of patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia who received intermittent adjunctive treatment with HFPV at a single center without requiring admission to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
CASE REPORT: Case 1 was a 60-year-old woman admitted to the hospital 14 days after the onset of SARS-CoV-2 infection symptoms, and cases 2 and 3 were men aged 65 and 72 years who were admitted to the hospital 10 days after the onset of SARS-CoV-2 infection symptoms. All 3 patients presented with clinical deterioration accompanied by worsening lung lesions on computed tomography (CT) scans after 21 days from the onset of symptoms. SARS-CoV-2 infection was confirmed in all patients by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay from nasal swabs. All 3 patients had impending respiratory failure when non-invasive intermittent HFPV therapy was initiated. After therapy, the patients had significant clinical improvement and visibly decreased lung lesions on followup CT scans performed 4–6 days later.
CONCLUSIONS: The 3 cases described in this report showed that the use of intermittent adjunctive treatment with HFPV in patients with severe pneumonia due to infection with SARS-CoV-2 improved lung function and may have prevented clinical deterioration. However, recommendations on the use of intermittent HFPV as an adjunctive treatment in COVID-19 pneumonia requires large-scale controlled clinical studies. In the pandemic context, with a shortage of ICU beds, avoiding ICU admission by using adjunctive therapies on the ward is a useful option.

Keywords: COVID-19, High-Frequency Ventilation, Pneumonia, Viral