Rates of progression of weight and forced vital capacity as relevant measurement to adapt amyotrophic lateral sclerosis management for patient Result of a French multicentre cohort survey

J Neurol Sci. 2013 Aug 15;331(1-2):126-31. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2013.06.002. Epub 2013 Jun 25.


Objectives: To compare survival, to describe the progression of anthropometry, pulmonary capacity and functioning in ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) and to identify the most relevant variables to adapt ALS management for patients.

Methods: A cohort study was performed in French ALS centres between January 2003 and July 2005. Eligible patients were treated by Riluzole and had a slow vital capacity (SVC) or a forced vital capacity (FVC) at least equal to 60%. Demographic, medical and ALS characteristics were registered. Manual Muscular Testing (MMT) and ALS Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS) were performed. Kaplan Meier method was used to analyse survival. ALS progression was measured by the percentage weight, FVC, SVC, MMT and ALSFRS loss and was analysed as longitudinal data using mixed model.

Results: Three hundred and eighty three patients were included. The median survival since ALS diagnosis was 2.34 years (95%CI 2.10-2.65). Mixed model analyses revealed a more significant worsening progression of weight and FVC loss for bulbar onset. The drop of ALSFRS and SVC is similar whatever the ALS forms.

Conclusions: Rates of progression of weight and FVC should be regularly watched over to support neurologists to adapt ALS management for patients.

Keywords: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Forced vital capacity; Mixed models; Motor neurone disease; Prognosis factor; Survival.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / drug therapy
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / mortality
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / physiopathology*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Body Weight / physiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • France
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Riluzole / therapeutic use
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors
  • Vital Capacity / drug effects
  • Vital Capacity / physiology*


  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Riluzole