A comparison of invasive versus noninvasive full-time mechanical ventilation in Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Chron Respir Dis. 2008;5(2):87-93. doi: 10.1177/1479972308088715.


The aim of this study was to compare morbidity and causes of death in a series of 42 Duchenne patients receiving full-time mechanical ventilation either by tracheostomy (TR, n = 16 or by noninvasive methods (noninvasive ventilation [NIV], n = 26). At inclusion for a 5-year observation period (2002-2006), TR and NIV patients were 32.7 and 27 years old, respectively. A program of follow-up with similar ventilation devices, techniques of respiratory physiotherapy, and drugs was applied to all the patients [TR + NIV]. Ages and respiratory characteristics at death and causes of death were comparable between groups. Morbidity was worse in TR compared with NIV patients; mucus hypersecretion and tracheal injuries were more frequent, whereas loss of weight and need for gastric feeding appeared less frequent in the TR group. Because noninvasive techniques avoid the severe complications associated with TR with comparable mortality, the authors support the use of noninvasive interfaces as default choice when assisted ventilation is required for daytime use.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cause of Death
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Morbidity
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne / therapy*
  • Respiration, Artificial / adverse effects
  • Respiration, Artificial / methods*
  • Tracheostomy