Electrophrenic pacing and decannulation for high-level spinal cord injury: A case series

Priya Bolikal, John R. Bach, Miguel Goncalves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: In 1997, guidelines were developed for the management of high-level ventilator-dependent patients with spinal cord injury who had little or no ventilator-free breathing ability (VFBA). This article describes the three categories of patients, the decannulation criteria, and the successful decannulation of four patients with no VFBA and electrophrenic/diaphragm pacing, using these criteria. Method: Case series. Conclusion: Lack of VFBA in patients with high-level spinal cord injury does not mandate tracheostomy or electrophrenic/diaphragm pacing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-174
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology


  • Assisted cough
  • Diaphragm pacing
  • Electrophrenic pacing
  • Glossopharyngeal breathing
  • Mechanical insufflation- exsufflation
  • Noninvasive mechanical ventilation
  • Respiratory therapy
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Tetraplegia


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