Noninvasive ventilation use by patients enrolled in VITALITY-ALS

Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener. 2021 Nov;22(7-8):486-494. doi: 10.1080/21678421.2021.1904993. Epub 2021 Apr 1.


Objectives: To evaluate the prescribing practices of noninvasive ventilation (NIV) and patient compliance during VITALITY-ALS. Methods: VITALITY-ALS enrolled patients with a slow vital capacity (SVC) ≥70% of predicted who were not using NIV at screening. Physicians prescribed NIV without restriction following randomization. Reason(s) for NIV prescription, dates prescribed and initiated, and compliance were recorded. Compliance was recorded as prescribed but never initiated, used ≥2 h/24 h, used ≥4 h/24 h, or used ≥22 h/24 h. In addition to other outcome measures, SVC and the revised ALS functional rating scale (ALSFRS-R) were performed at all visits. Patients were followed up to 56 weeks. Results: 565 patients were randomized and dosed with placebo or tirasemtiv in VITALITY-ALS; 195 (34.5%) were prescribed NIV: of these, 78.5% used it for ≥2 h/24 h, 71.3% for ≥4 h/24 h, and 11.8% for ≥22 h/24 h. The three most common reasons NIV was prescribed were decline in vital capacity, respiratory symptoms, and sleep-related symptoms. During the trial, 179/565 (31.7%) patients had a decline of SVC below 50%; of these patients, 122/179 (68.2%) were prescribed NIV. Reasons for prescribing NIV were different for patients from North America compared with Europe. Conclusions: Despite allowing for NIV initiation at any point following randomization in VITALITY-ALS, only slightly more than two out of three patients whose SVC fell below 50% were prescribed NIV; this was similar in Europe and in North America. Underutilization of NIV could influence survival outcomes in patients with ALS including those involved in clinical trials.

Keywords: Noninvasive ventilation; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; clinical trial; respiratory insufficiency; slow vital capacity; tirasemtiv.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis*
  • Humans
  • Noninvasive Ventilation*
  • Respiratory Insufficiency*
  • Sleep
  • Time Factors
  • Vital Capacity