18 years experience with mechanical ventilation in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy

A F Meinesz, G Bladder, J F Goorhuis, J M Fock, A L Staal-Schreinemachers, Jan Zijlstra, P J Wijkstra

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OBJECTIVE: To find out which patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy are eligible for starting home mechanical ventilation and what the survival rate is.

DESIGN: Retrospective.

METHOD: In 48 patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy who were treated with home ventilation from 1987, the results were assessed in the follow-up visit in February 2005. Initially, ventilation was only given through a tracheotomy (TPPV), but after starting up a multidisciplinary neuromuscular consultation, non-invasive ventilation (NIPPV) was offered in an earlier stage of the disease. The following data were derived from the outpatient medical record: indication for ventilation, vital capacity (VC), arterial blood gas values, duration of ventilation up to February 2005, survival and causes of death.

RESULTS: 15 patients died. The 5-year survival rate was 75% from the start of mechanical ventilation and 67% (18/27) of the patients were still living at home at the time of the follow-up visit. The most important causes of death were cardiomyopathy (5/15) and tracheal bleeding (3/15). The group of patients who started ventilation before 1995 (n = 17) had a significantly smaller VC than the group (n = 31) who started after the neuromuscular consultation was set up. The PaCO2 during daytime was significantly higher in the group that started ventilation before 1995 compared to the group that started later.

CONCLUSION: Home mechanical ventilation can be implemented effectively in patients with Duchenne dystrophy, with a 5-year survival of 75%.

Translated title of the contribution18 years experience with mechanical ventilation in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)1830-1833
Number of pages4
JournalNederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
Issue number33
Publication statusPublished - 18-Aug-2007


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cause of Death
  • Child
  • Female
  • Home Care Services
  • Humans
  • Intermittent Positive-Pressure Ventilation
  • Male
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne
  • Neuromuscular Diseases
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Respiratory Insufficiency
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis
  • Vital Capacity

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