Introduction: Neuromuscular disease (NMD) patients frequently have impaired cough. Mechanical insufflation-exsufflation (MI-E) has proven efficacy in improving airway clearance, however data related to its long-term home use is lacking. The purpose of this study was to describe indications, safety and compliance of home MI-E in NMD patients.
Methods: Four years observational analysis of 21 NMD patients on home MI-E. Diagnosis included bulbar and non-bulbar Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and other NMD. Median age was 58 years. Only cooperative patients with unassisted baseline Peak Cough Flow (PCF) <270 L/min were included. All patients were under continuous mechanical ventilation (6 by tracheostomy). Pulmonary function before initiation of MI-E (median): FVC=0.81 L, MIP=28cmH(2)O, MEP=22 cmH(2)O and PCF=60 L/min. MI-E was performed by previously trained non-professional caregivers, with an on-call support of a trained health care professional. Patients had pulse oximetry monitorization and applied MI-E whenever SpO(2)<95%. Median follow-up was 12 months (3-41 months).
Results: Ten patients (9 ALS) used MI-E daily. Eleven patients used MI-E intermittently, during exacerbations, and in 8 patients early application of MI-E (guided by oximetry feed-back) avoided hospitalization. All tracheostomized patients used MI-E daily and more times a day than patients under NIV. Four patients (3 bulbar ALS), were hospitalized due to secretion encumbrance. MI-E was well-tolerated and there were no complications. In general, caregivers considered MI-E effective. During this period, 4 patients died, related to disease progression.
Conclusions: Home MI-E is well tolerated, effective and safe if used by well trained caregivers. MI-E should be considered as a complement to mechanical ventilation.
Copyright 2009 SEPAR. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.