High-flow therapy (HFT) is the administration of gas flows above 15 L/min. It is a non-invasive respiratory support that delivers heated (up to 38 °C), humidified (100% Relative Humidity, RH; 44 mg H2O/L Absolute Humidity, AH), oxygen-enriched air when necessary, through a nasal cannula or a tracheostomy interface. Over the last few years, the use of HFT in critically ill hypoxemic adults has increased. Although the clinical benefit of home high-flow therapy (HHFT) remains unclear, some research findings would support the use of HHFT in chronic respiratory diseases. The aim of this review is to describe the HFT physiological principles and summarize the published clinical findings. Finally, we will discuss the differences between hospital and home implementation, as well as the various devices available for HHFT application.
Keywords: high-flow nasal cannula; HFNC; high-flow oxygen therapy; HFOT; NIRS; non-invasive respiratory supports; chronic respiratory disease; COPD