Respiratory failure could result from a cardiopulmonary or a primary neurological disease. The latter could happen as a result of involvement of the central nervous system or a neuromuscular disease. Different neuromuscular diseases could result in respiratory failure by causing significant weakness of the respiratory and upper airways muscles. When confronted with a patient who presents with respiratory failure, the first task of the clinician is to secure the airways and stabilize the hemodynamic condition. The next step is the diagnostic approach and potentially a disease specific treatment, which is the focus of this review.
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