Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Case report

Respiratory support by neurally adjusted ventilatory assist (NAVA) in severe RSV-related bronchiolitis: a case series report

Jean-Michel Liet1*, Jean-Marc Dejode1, Nicolas Joram1, Bénédicte Gaillard-Le Roux1, Pierre Bétrémieux2 and Jean-Christophe Rozé1

Author Affiliations

1 Unité de Réanimation Pédiatrique, Hôpital Mère-Enfant Faïencerie, CHU de Nantes, 38 Boulevard Jean-Monnet, 44093 Nantes, France

2 Service de Réanimation Pédiatrique, CHU de Rennes, 16 Boulevard de Bulgarie, 35000 Rennes, France

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Pediatrics 2011, 11:92  doi:10.1186/1471-2431-11-92

Published: 20 October 2011



Neurally adjusted ventilatory assist (NAVA) is a new mode of mechanical ventilation controlled by diaphragmatic electrical signals. The electrical signals allow synchronization of ventilation to spontaneous breathing efforts of a child, as well as permitting pressure assistance proportional to the electrical signal. NAVA provides equally fine synchronization of respiratory support and pressure assistance varying with the needs of the child. NAVA has mainly been studied in children who underwent cardiac surgery during the period of weaning from a respirator.

Case presentation

We report here a series of 3 children (1 month, 3 years, and 28 days old) with severe respiratory distress due to RSV-related bronchiolitis requiring invasive mechanical ventilation with a high level of oxygen (FiO2 ≥50%) for whom NAVA facilitated respiratory support. One of these children had diagnosis criteria for acute lung injury, another for acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Establishment of NAVA provided synchronization of mechanical ventilatory support with the breathing efforts of the children. Respiratory rate and inspiratory pressure became extremely variable, varying at each cycle, while children were breathing easily and smoothly. All three children demonstrated less oxygen requirements after introducing NAVA (57 ± 6% to 42 ± 18%). This improvement was observed while peak airway pressure decreased (28 ± 3 to 15 ± 5 cm H2O). In one child, NAVA facilitated the management of acute respiratory distress syndrome with extensive subcutaneous emphysema.


Our findings highlight the feasibility and benefit of NAVA in children with severe RSV-related bronchiolitis. NAVA provides a less aggressive ventilation requiring lower inspiratory pressures with good results for oxygenation and more comfort for the children.