Lung insufflation capacity in neuromuscular disease.

Bach JR, Mahajan K, Lipa B, Saporito L, Goncalves M, Komaroff E.

This study was a case series of 282 consecutive neuromuscular disease (NMD) clinic patients 7 yrs and older with vital capacity (VC) <70% of the predicted normal value. All patients meeting these criteria were prescribed thrice-daily air stacking and/or maximal passive lung insufflation to pressures of 40-80 cm H2O They underwent measurements of VC, maximal insufflation capacity (MIC), lung insufflation capacity (LIC), and unassisted and assisted cough peak flows (CPF) on every visit.

The authors found that passive lung insufflation can distend the lungs of patients with NMD significantly greater than air stacking, particularly when glottic and bulbar-innervated muscle dysfunction is severe. The patients who benefit the most from insufflation therapy are those who have the lowest VC.

American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2008; 87: 720-5.

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