Purpose: The optimal monitoring during sleep with noninvasive positive pressure ventilation (NPPV) has not been validated in children. The aim of the study was to describe on polygraphic (PG) recordings the respiratory events and associated autonomic arousals (AA) and/or 3 % desaturations (DS3%) during nocturnal NPPV.
Methods: This was a prospective descriptive study performed in the pulmonology unit of a pediatric university hospital. Consecutive patients admitted for routine follow-up of long-term NPPV were enrolled. Nocturnal PG during sleep with NPPV was performed. A second PG was performed after adjustment of the ventilatory settings when a respiratory event occurred more than 50 times/h.
Results: The PG tracings of 39 patients (age range 1-18 years) were analyzed. Underlying diagnoses included neuromuscular disease (n = 13), obstructive sleep apnea (n = 15), and lung disease (n = 11). Unintentional leaks, patient-ventilator asynchronies, decrease in ventilatory drive, upper airway obstruction with or without reduction of ventilatory drive, and mixed events were observed in 27, 33, 10, 11, 12, and 3 % of the patients, respectively. A predominant respiratory event was observed in all patients. The mean duration spent with respiratory events was 32 ± 30 % (range 3-96 %) of total recording time. Unintentional leaks were the most frequently associated with AA, whereas patient-ventilator asynchronies were rarely associated with AA or DS3%. In eight re-evaluated patients, a decrease in the main event was observed (p = 0.005).
Conclusion: Respiratory events during sleep with NPPV are common in children treated with long-term NPPV. Consequences of respiratory events vary according to the type of event with unintentional leaks being associated preferentially with AA.