Impact of an early respiratory care programme with non-invasive ventilation adaptation in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

M Vitacca, A Montini, C Lunetta, P Banfi, E Bertella, E De Mattia, A Lizio, E Volpato, A Lax, R Morini, M Paneroni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Forced vital capacity (FVC) <80% is one of the key indications for starting non-invasive ventilation (NIV) in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It was hypothesized that a very early start of NIV could lengthen the free interval before death compared to later-start NIV; as a secondary outcome, the survival rate of patients on NIV without tracheotomy was also evaluated.

METHODS: This retrospective study was conducted on 194 ALS patients, divided into a later group (LG) with FVC <80% at NIV prescription (n = 129) and a very early group (VEG) with FVC ≥80% at NIV prescription (n = 65). Clinical and respiratory functional data and time free to death between groups over a 3-year follow-up were compared.

RESULT: At 36 months from diagnosis, mortality was 35% for the VEG versus 52.7% for the LG (P = 0.022). Kaplan-Meier survival curves adjusted for tracheotomy showed a lower probability of death (P = 0.001) for the VEG as a whole (P = 0.001) and for the non-bulbar (NB) subgroup (P = 0.007). Very early NIV was protective of survival for all patients [hazard ratio (HR) 0.45; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.28-0.74; P = 0.001] and for the NB subgroup (HR 0.43; 95% CI 0.23-0.79; P = 0.007), whilst a tracheotomy was protective for all patients (HR 0.27; 95% CI 0.15-0.50; P = 0.000) and both NB (HR 0.26; 95% CI 0.12-0.56; P = 0.001) and bulbar subgroups (HR 0.29; 95% CI 0.11-0.77; P = 0.013). Survival in VEG patients on NIV without tracheotomy was three times that for the LG (43.1% vs. 14.7%).

CONCLUSION: Very early NIV prescription prolongs the free time from diagnosis to death in NB ALS patients whilst tracheotomy reduces the mortality risk in all patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)556-e33
JournalEuropean Journal of Neurology
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

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