Prediction of extubation success using the diaphragmatic electromyograph results in ventilated neonates

Katie Hunt, Ian Hunt, Kamal Ali, Theodore Dassios, Anne Greenough

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8 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


Extubation failure is common in infants and associated with complications. A prospective study was undertaken of preterm and term born infants. Diaphragm electromyogram (EMG) was measured transcutaneously for 15-60 min prior to extubation. The EMG results were related to tidal volume (Tve) to calculate the neuroventilatory efficiency (NVE). Receiver operating characteristic curves (ROC) were constructed and areas under the ROCs (AUROC) calculated. Seventy-two infants, median gestational age 28 (range 23-42) weeks were included; 15 (21%) failed extubation. Infants successfully extubated were more mature at birth (p=0.001), of greater corrected gestational age (CGA) at extubation (p<0.001) and heavier birth weight (p=0.005) than those who failed extubation. The amplitude and area under the curve of the diaphragm EMG were not significantly different between those who were and were not successfully extubated. Those successfully extubated required a significantly lower inspired oxygen and had higher expiratory tidal volumes (Tve) and NVE. The CGA and Tve had AUROCs of 0.83. A CGA of >29.6 weeks had the highest combined sensitivity (86%) and specificity (80%) in predicting extubation success. Although NVE differed significantly between those who did and did not successfully extubate, CGA was the best predictor of extubation success.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-614
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Perinatal Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • extubation
  • transcutaneous diaphragmatic electromyography
  • ventilated infants


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