High-frequency chest-wall oscillation in a noninvasive-ventilation-dependent patient with type 1 spinal muscular atrophy

Respir Care. 2011 Nov;56(11):1840-3. doi: 10.4187/respcare.01155. Epub 2011 May 20.


With the recent increased use of noninvasive ventilation, the prognoses of children with neuromuscular disease has improved significantly. However, children with muscle weakness remain at risk for recurrent respiratory infection and atelectasis. We report the case of a young girl with type 1 spinal muscular atrophy who was dependent on noninvasive ventilation, and in whom conventional secretion-clearance physiotherapy became insufficient to clear secretions. We initiated high-frequency chest-wall oscillation (HFCWO) as a rescue therapy, and she had improved self-ventilation time. This is the first case report of HFCWO for secretion clearance in a severely weak child with type 1 spinal muscular atrophy. In a patient with neuromuscular disease and severe respiratory infection and compromise, HFCWO can be used safely in combination with conventional secretion-clearance physiotherapy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chest Wall Oscillation*
  • Female
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / complications
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Respiration, Artificial / methods
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophies of Childhood / complications
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophies of Childhood / therapy*
  • Ventilators, Negative-Pressure*