Effects of long-term non-invasive ventilation on sleep structure in children with Spinal Muscular Atrophy type 2

Elisabetta Verrillo, Martino Pavone, Oliviero Bruni, Raffaele Ferri, Serena Caggiano, Maria Beatrice Chiarini Testa, Claudio Cherchi, Renato Cutrera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Changes of sleep architecture have been reported in children with Spinal Muscular Atrophy type 2 (SMA2), mainly represented by a decrease of arousability. No studies have evaluated the effect of long-term ventilation on sleep parameters in these children. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of long-term non-invasive positive pressure ventilation (LTNPPV) on sleep architecture and to assess the residual differences from normal controls. Methods: Nine consecutive children with SMA2 underwent two distinct polysomnographic (PSG) studies, one in spontaneous breathing, and subsequently after LTNPPV. The results were then compared to 15 age-matched controls. Results: SMA2 patients showed only slightly modified sleep architecture on LTNPPV: increased stage N2% and decreased number of awakenings, while several significant differences persisted between SMA2 patients on LTNPPV and controls (decreased total sleep time, number of awakenings, sleep efficiency, and percentage of REM sleep). Sleep microstructure, evaluated by means of the Cyclic alternating pattern (CAP) showed only marginal changes on LTNPPV (small shortening of CAP A1 subtype duration and small increase in CAP A3 index). Conversely, CAP parameters on LTNPPV showed significant differences between SMA2 patients vs. controls, with increased A1 subtype percentage and decreased percentage of A2 and A3 subtypes. Conclusions: This is the first study in children affected by SMA2 reporting data on sleep microstructure and their changes after LTNPPV. We found persisting, small but important changes in sleep microstructure during LTNPPV in these children, suggesting that this treatment only partially improves their arousability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-87
Number of pages6
JournalSleep Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2019


  • Arousability
  • Cyclic alternating pattern
  • Long term ventilation
  • Sleep
  • Sleep breathing disorder
  • Spinal muscular atrophy type 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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