for people ages 18 years and up (full criteria)
at San Francisco, California
study started
estimated completion
Principal Investigator
by Kathleen Sarmiento
Photo of Kathleen Sarmiento
Kathleen Sarmiento



This is a pilot study to evaluate the impact of providing patients admitted with acute exacerbations of COPD (AECOPD) with non-invasive ventilation (NIV)home devices prior to discharge on hospital readmission rates and other secondary outcomes. Aim 1 To test whether continuation of NIV at home after being initiated during hospitalization for AECOPD improves subsequent admission-free survival in patients with chronic hypercapnic respiratory failure secondary to COPD Hypothesis 1: The use of targeted NIV during hospitalization with continuation upon discharge to home will improve one-year all-cause mortality as compared to published mortality in the current literature. Hypothesis 2: The use of targeted NIV during hospitalization with continuation upon discharge to home will reduce readmission rates for AECOPD within-institution historical data. Aim 2 To evaluate the feasibility of a larger multisite randomized controlled trial in veterans using inclusion and exclusion criteria specified in this pilot. Outcomes Primary: Event-free survival (re-hospitalization for AECOPD, time to readmission for AECOPD, and all-cause mortality) Secondary: 1. Unplanned readmission rates (all complications) 2. Time to readmissions for admissions other than AECOPD. 3. Arterial blood gas/Venous blood gas (ABG/VBG): PaO2, PaCO2 and serum bicarbonate at Baseline, 6 and 12 months 4. Pulmonary function (handheld spirometer or in-laboratory based on specific institution resources) at Baseline, 6, and 12 months 5.6 minute walk test at Baseline, 6,and 12 months 6.Health related quality of life (HRQOL) measured by the St. Georges respiratory questionnaires (SGRQ) at Baseline, 1,3,6,9 and 12 months 7.Adherence to NIV at Week 1-2, Months 1,3,6,9 and 12 8.Sleep assessed by type 3 portable monitors 9.Sleep assessed by questionnaires: Insomnia severity index (ISI), Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Functional Outcomes of Sleep Short Form (FOSQ-10) at Baseline, 1,3,6,9 and 12 months 11.Utilization of healthcare services (number of visits to outpatient clinics and emergency services, number of inpatient admissions)

Official Title

Noninvasive Ventilation for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Hospital to Home Pilot


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, with the economic and social burden of disease anticipated to increase annually. Acute exacerbations of COPD (AECOPD) are associated with significant in-hospital mortality (6-8%), high readmission rates (60-80%), and even more dramatic 1-year mortality (23-49%). The use of non-invasive ventilation (NIV) has been extensively evaluated in both patients with stable disease in the home setting and in AECOPD during hospitalization. It is widely accepted that NIV used during AECOPD in the inpatient setting reduces rates of endotracheal intubation, as well as length of ICU and hospital stay. Long-term use of NIV, particularly at higher pressures, in the home setting in COPD patients with evidence of chronic compensated respiratory acidosis (PaCO2 >45mmHg) decreases elevated PaCo2 and serum bicarbonate levels, improves pulmonary function, and improves quality of life. Little is known about whether patients initiated on NIV during an AECOPD and subsequently transitioned to long-term home NIV on discharge demonstrate reduced AECOPD rates, readmission rates, or differences in morbidity and mortality. The few existing randomized trials aimed at this patient population suffer from criticisms of lack of power, varying degrees of patient symptoms, conflicting results, and inconsistent approaches in NIV strategies. Nonetheless, this is an important population to address, as AECOPD frequently leads to accelerated loss of lung function (pre-AECOPD function not recovered), decreased quality of life (QOL), more frequent exacerbations, and higher overall mortality. If NIV can minimize the loss of lung function during the transition period following AECOPD, QOL, physical activity tolerance, readmission rates and overall mortality may improve. Economic analyses of the use of NIV in patients with AECOPD transitioning from the inpatient to home setting are also sparse, but of high value as healthcare transitions toward bundled payments and penalties for readmissions. This pilot study seeks to better inform the literature on the role of NIV initiated during inpatient AECOPD and continued long-term following discharge home in patients with chronic hypercapnic respiratory failure due to COPD. The investigators hypothesize that the use of NIV during acute inpatient treatment of AECOPD followed by continuation of NIV therapy long-term at home will improve admission free survival, improve quality of life, reduce 1-year exacerbation rates, and reduce 30d readmissions. This is a prospective 1-year interventional pilot study that will occur at 4 Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals (Sacramento, Durham, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco). The total enrollment goal across all sites is 50. Total study period expected includes an enrollment period of approximately 10-12 months and follow-up period of 12 months for a total study duration of approximately 2 years.


Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive Noninvasive Ventilation COPD BIPAP NIV Respiratory failure Lung Diseases


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18 years and up

  1. Admission for acute hypercapnic respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation or NIV
  2. Resolution of acute respiratory failure reflected by normalization of pH and downgrade of clinical status to ward or floor status.
  3. Severe COPD defined by GOLD stage 3 (FEV1 30-50%) or 4 (FEV1 < 30%) OR GOLD C or D. Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) done within 3 years preceding admission are acceptable to document an obstructive ventilatory defect and decrease diffusion capacity consistent with emphysema and COPD. If no PFTs are available, bedside spirometry will be performed to confirm COPD.
  4. Chronic compensated respiratory acidosis based on PaCO2 >52 adjusted for pH 7.40, on pre-admission laboratory values or after resolution of acute respiratory failure.
  5. Able to consent without surrogate and complete all required study visits.

You CAN'T join if...

  1. Moderate or severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) >15/h. Sleep testing done within the prior 3 years with no increase in body mass index (BMI) >2kg/m2 or major change in cardiopulmonary conditions (new reduced ejection heart failure [HFrEF], atrial fibrillation [AFib], opioid use with morphine dose equivalent (MDDE) >120mg, or cardiothoracic surgery for lung resection or coronary artery bypass grafting) will be accepted for AHI severity.
  2. BMI>35 kg/m2
  3. Congestive heart failure (HFrEF, EF< 45%)
  4. Other cause of chronic respiratory failure: Obesity hypoventilation syndrome, spinal cord injury (cervical or thoracic) neuromuscular disease, diaphragmatic paralysis, chest wall restrictive ventilatory defect
  5. Lack of stable housing, homelessness, or unreliable electricity source in home environment.
  6. Use of NIV at home within past three months
  7. Failure to tolerate NIV during initial hospitalization
  8. Unable or unwilling to comply with the protocol
  9. Age <18 years
  10. . Inability to consent due to limited cognitive capacity
  11. . Pregnancy


  • San Francisco VA Health Care System
    San Francisco California 94121 United States

Lead Scientist at UCSF

  • Kathleen Sarmiento
    Kathleen Sarmiento is an Associate Professor of Medicine, Director of the Sleep Program at the VA San Francisco Health Care System, VISN 21 Specialty Care Sleep Clinical Resource Hub Director, and National Lead for VHA TeleSleep.


not yet accepting patients
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San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center
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