Mao Z, Gao L, Wang G, Liu C, Zhao Y, Gu W, Kang H, Zhou F.; Crit Care. 2016 Oct 28;20(1):353.

BACKGROUND: Potential benefits of subglottic secretion suction for preventing ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) are not fully understood.

METHODS: We searched Cochrane Central, PubMed, and EMBASE up to March 2016 to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that compared subglottic secretion suction versus non-subglottic secretion suction in adults with mechanical ventilation. Meta-analysis was conducted using Revman 5.3, trial sequential analysis (TSA) 0.9 and STATA 12.0. The primary outcome was incidence of VAP. The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) was used to evaluate the level of evidence.

RESULTS: Twenty RCTs (N = 3544) were identified. Subglottic secretion suction was associated with reduction of VAP incidence in four high quality trials (relative risk (RR) 0.54, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.40-0.74; p < 0.00001) and in all trials (RR = 0.55, 95 % CI 0.48- 0.63; p < 0.00001). Sensitivity analyses did not show differences in the pooled results. Additionally, the results of the above-mentioned analyses were confirmed in TSA. GRADE level was high. Subglottic secretion suction significantly reduced incidence of early onset VAP, gram-positive or gram-negative bacteria causing VAP, and duration of mechanical ventilation. It delayed the time-to-onset of VAP. However, no significant differences in late onset VAP, intensive care unit (ICU) mortality, hospital mortality, or ICU length of stay were found.

CONCLUSIONS: Subglottic secretion suction decreased VAP incidence and duration of mechanical ventilation and delayed VAP onset. However, subglottic secretion suction did not reduce mortality and length of ICU stay. Subglottic secretion suction is recommended for preventing VAP and for reducing ventilation length, especially in the population at high risk of early onset VAP.

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