Prone vs supine position in intubated COVID-19 patients with ARDS: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Dita Aditianingsih, Adhrie Sugiarto, Sidharta Kusuma Manggala, Hansen Angkasa, Ahmad Pasha Natanegara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background & Objective: The recent COVID-19 pandemic has tested the healthcare sector to the maximum, but it also has taught us some valuable lessons, especially in the context of intensive care, and particularly in the respiratory support. This review determined the effect of prone positioning in changes of partial pressure of arterial oxygen/fraction of inspired oxygen (PaO2/FiO2) ratio, partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PaCO2), mortality rate, ICU length of stay and duration of mechanical ventilation in intubated COVID-19 patients with ARDS. Methodology: A computer-aided comprehensive electronic bibliographic search from MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Science Direct were conducted. The search comprised the articles written in English and intubated adult (≥ 18 y old) patients with COVID-19. The primary outcome was comparing PaO2/FiO2 ratio between prone and supine position groups. Secondary outcomes were comparisons of PaCO2, ICU discharge, and mortality rate. Review Manager version 5.4 (The Cochrane Collaboration) was used for statistical analyses of the included studies. Results: A total of 7 articles were determined to be eligible, consisting of 1403 intubated COVID-19 patients with ARDS that showed prone position was associated with a higher PaO2/FiO2 ratio compared to the supine position (MD 60.17, 95% CI 46.86−73.47; P < 0.00001). Four studies reported the PaCO2 measurements and showed no significant difference between prone and supine positions (MD 2.07, 95% CI -2.79−6.92; P < 0.40). Only two studies reported mortalities, one study had 262 deaths out of 648 patients (40.4%) and the other study lost 11 out of 20 patients (55%). One study reported median ICU stay and mechanical ventilation duration (16 days) were significantly longer in prone position group. Conclusion: This meta-analysis showed that prone position improved PaO2/FiO2 ratio in intubated COVID-19 patients with ARDS. It also prolonged ICU stay and mechanical ventilation duration, but had no effect on mortality rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-544
Number of pages10
JournalAnaesthesia, Pain and Intensive Care
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2023


  • ARDS, Intubation
  • COVID-19
  • Meta-Analysis
  • Prone Position
  • Supine Position


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