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Practical aspects of nocturnal noninvasive ventilation in neuromuscular and chest wall disease

Nicholas S Hill, MD
Naomi R Kramer, MD
Section Editors
Jeremy M Shefner, MD, PhD
Polly E Parsons, MD
Deputy Editors
Geraldine Finlay, MD
John F Dashe, MD, PhD


Noninvasive ventilation refers to mechanical ventilation without the need for an invasive interface (ie, an invasive artificial airway) between the ventilatory device and the patient. Noninvasive ventilation is now commonly used to assist ventilation in patients with a variety of chronic neuromuscular and chest wall diseases [1].

The incidence of respiratory muscle dysfunction varies among these different entities. In neuromuscular disease, the degree of compromise may differ significantly between respiratory and nonrespiratory muscles, and not all respiratory muscles may be similarly impaired. The clinical course also varies, as the rate of progression may differ enormously between individuals with the same disease (eg, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and respiratory muscle weakness may be:

Completely reversible (Guillain-Barré syndrome)

Reversible with treatment (myasthenia gravis)

Relapsing (multiple sclerosis)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: May 31, 2016.
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