Sleep-related breathing disorders and non-invasive ventilation

Agata Lax, Simona Colamartino, Paolo Banfi, Antonello Nicolini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Non-invasive mechanical ventilation (NPPV) was originally used in patients with acute respiratory impairment or exacerbations of chronic respiratory diseases, as an alternative to the endotracheal tube. Over the last thirty years NPPV has been also used at night in patients with stable chronic lung disease such as obstructive sleep apnea, the overlap syndrome (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and obstructive sleep apnea), neuromuscular disorders, obesity-hypoventilation syndrome, and in other conditions such as sleep disorders associated with congestive heart failure (Cheyne-Stokes respiration). In this no-systematic review we discuss the different types of NPPV, the specific conditions in which they can be used and the indications, recommendations and evidence supporting the efficacy of NPPV. Optimizing patient acceptance and adherence to non-invasive ventilation treatment is challenging. The treatment of sleep-related disorders is a life-threatening condition. The optimal level of treatment should be determined in a sleep laboratory. Side effects directly affecting the patient's adherence to treatment are known. The most common are nasopharyngeal symptoms including increased congestion and rhinorrhea; these effects are related to reduced humidity of inspired gas. Humidification of delivered gas may improve these symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-115
Number of pages7
JournalItalian Journal of Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Bilevel positive airway pressure
  • Continuous positive airway pressure
  • Non-invasive ventilation
  • Sleep-related respiratory disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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