Kyphoscoliosis ventilatory insufficiency: Noninvasive management outcomes

Gloria Ferris, Emilio Servera-Pieras, Pedro Vergara, Alice C. Tzeng, Maximo Perez, Julio Marin, John R. Bach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the effects on symptoms, pulmonary function, sleep, and other clinical variables of treating kyphoscoliosis-associated chronic alveolar hypoventilation with nocturnal nasal ventilation. Design: Sixteen patients with kyphoscoliosis were treated with nocturnal nasal ventilation delivered by volume-cycled (seven patients) and pressure-cycled (nine patients) ventilators. Dyspnea, morning headaches, fatigue, hypersomnolence, and perceived sleep quality were assessed. Results: All pretreatment symptoms improved significantly with nasal ventilation. Likewise, PaO2 (mm Hg), PaO2/FiO2, PaCO2 (mm Hg), pH, and forced vital capacity (in milliliters and as a percentage of predicted normal) significantly improved with treatment. Maximum inspiratory pressures and maximum expiratory pressures also significantly increased. Tidal volumes increased significantly and breathing frequency decreased (not significant). Although perceived sleep quality improved, as well as sleep oxyhemoglobin saturation, there was no significant change in sleep architecture. Hospitalization days for respiratory difficulties also decreased from 10.9 ± 13.3 days in the 6 mo before intermittent positive-pressure ventilation to 0 days during the first 6 mo of treatment. Conclusions: Although not apparently affecting sleep architecture, nocturnal nasal ventilation can significantly improve nocturnal and daytime blood gases, pulmonary function, and symptoms of hypoventilation for patients with severe kyphoscoliosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-29
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


  • Kyphoscoliosis
  • Mechanical Ventilation
  • Pulmonary Rehabilitation
  • Respiratory Therapy


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