Respiratory rate-oxygenation (ROX) index for predicting high-flow nasal cannula failure in patients with and without COVID-19.

Publication date: Jan 01, 2024

The predictive value of the respiratory rate-oxygenation (ROX) index for a high-flow nasal cannula (HFNC) in patients with COVID-19 with acute hypoxemic respiratory failure (AHRF) may differ from patients without COVID-19 with AHRF, but these patients have not yet been compared. We compared the diagnostic accuracy of the ROX index for HFNC failure in patients with AHRF with and without COVID-19 during acute emergency department (ED) visits. We performed a retrospective analysis of patients with AHRF treated with an HFNC in an ED between October 2020 and April 2022. The ROX index was calculated at 1, 2, 4, 6, 12, and 24 h after HFNC placement. The primary outcome was the failure of the HFNC, which was defined as the need for subsequent intubation or death within 72 h. A receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was used to evaluate discriminative power of the ROX index for HFNC failure. Among 448 patients with AHRF treated with an HFNC in an ED, 78 (17. 4%) patients were confirmed to have COVID-19. There was no significant difference in the HFNC failure rates between the non-COVID-19 and COVID-19 groups (29. 5% vs. 33. 3%, p = 0. 498). The median ROX index was higher in the non-COVID-19 group than in the COVID-19 group at all time points. The prognostic power of the ROX index for HFNC failure as evaluated by the area under the ROC curve was generally higher in the COVID-19 group (0. 73-0. 83) than the non-COVID-19 group (0. 62-0. 75). The timing of the highest prognostic value of the ROX index for HFNC failure was at 4 h for the non-COVID-19 group, whereas in the COVID-19 group, its performance remained consistent from 1 h to 6 h. The optimal cutoff values were 6. 48 and 5. 79 for the non-COVID-19 and COVID-19 groups, respectively. The ROX index had an acceptable discriminative power for predicting HFNC failure in patients with AHRF with and without COVID-19 in the ED. However, the higher ROX index thresholds than those in previous publications involving intensive care unit (ICU) patients suggest the need for careful monitoring and establishment of a new threshold for patients admitted outside the ICU.

Concepts Keywords
72h COVID-19
Covid Discriminative power
Hypoxemic Endotracheal intubation
October High-flow nasal cannula
ROX index


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19
disease MESH acute hypoxemic respiratory failure
disease MESH emergency
disease MESH death
drug DRUGBANK Saquinavir
disease VO time

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