Article Text

other Versions

Download PDFPDF
Methods of weaning preterm babies <30 weeks gestation off CPAP: a multicentre randomised controlled trial
  1. David A Todd1,
  2. A Wright2,
  3. M Broom1,
  4. M Chauhan1,
  5. S Meskell1,
  6. C Cameron2,
  7. A M Perdomi2,
  8. M Rochefort2,
  9. L Jardine3,
  10. A Stewart4,
  11. B Shadbolt1
  1. 1Centre for Newborn Care (CNC), Canberra Hospital & Australian National University Medical School, Canberra, Australia
  2. 2CNC, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, Australia
  3. 3Department of Neonatology, Mater Mothers' Hospital, Brisbane, Australia
  4. 4Grantley Stable Neonatal intensive care unit, Royal Brisbane & Women's Hospital, Brisbane, Australia
  5. 5Department of Epidemiology, Canberra Hospital, Canberra, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr David A Todd, Department of Neonatology, Canberra Hospital, PO Box 11, Woden Canberra 2606, Australia; David.Todd{at}


Background Controversy exists whether different continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) weaning methods influence time to wean off CPAP, CPAP duration, oxygen duration, Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD) or length of admission.

Aims In a multicentre randomised controlled trial, the authors have primarily compared CPAP weaning methods impact on time to wean off CPAP and CPAP duration and secondarily their effect on oxygen duration, BPD and time of admission.

Methods Between April 2006 and October 2009, 177 infants <30 weeks gestational age (GA) who fulfilled stability criteria on CPAP were randomised to one of the three CPAP weaning methods (M).

M1: Taken ‘OFF’ CPAP with the view to stay ‘OFF’.

m2: Cycled on and off CPAP with incremental time ‘OFF’.

M3: As with m2, cycled on and off CPAP but during ‘OFF’ periods were supported by 2 mm nasal cannula at a flow of 0.5 l/min.

Results Based on intention to treat analysis, there was no significant difference in mean GA or birthweight between the groups (27.1±1.4, 26.9±1.6 and 27.3±1.5 (weeks±1SD) and 988±247, 987±249 and 1015±257 (grams±1SD), respectively). Primary outcomes showed M1 produced a significantly shorter time to wean from CPAP (11.3±0.8, 16.8±1.0, 19.4±1.3 (days±1SE) p<0.0001, respectively) and CPAP duration (24.4±0.1, 38.6±0.1, 30.5±0.1 (days±1SE) p<0.0001, respectively). All the secondary outcomes were significantly shorter with M1, (oxygen duration: 24.1±1.5, 45.8±2.2, 34.1±2.0 (days±1SE) p<0.0001, BPD: 7/56 (12.5%), 29/69 (42%), 10/52 (19%) p=0.011 and length of admission: 58.5±0.1, 73.8±0.1 69.5±0.1 (days±1SE) p<0.0001, respectively).

Conclusion Method 1 significantly shortens CPAP weaning time, CPAP duration, oxygen duration, BPD and admission time.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Funding Funding for the CPAP weaning study was obtained from (1) Canberra Hospital, Private Practice Fund, (2) Canberra Hospital, Newborn Intensive Care Foundation and (3) Fisher and Paykel Healthcare. Funding from the 3 sources was for Research Nurse Salary, Construction and Maintenance of Treonic Database, Postage, Some travel to present results at meetings. There was no involvement in the mechanics of the study by any of the funding sources.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.