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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Mechanical ventilation and tracheostomy in multiple sclerosis.

Decisions on ventilatory support (VS) in multiple sclerosis ( MS) are complex. All patients with MS requiring mechanical ventilation or tracheostomy since 1969 (22) at Mayo Clinic were reviewed. Seventeen had progressive ( PMS; 11 secondary and six primary progressive) and one had relapsing remitting MS (RRMS). Four had neuromyelitis optica (NMO). Of those with PMS, all but two required a wheelchair or were bedbound before VS and survived a median of 22 months; 14 were mechanically ventilated and seven underwent subsequent lifelong tracheostomy; three had tracheostomy only. The indications (usually multiple) for VS in PMS patients were aspiration pneumonia, poor ventilation because of mucous plugging, mechanical failure, and airway control/protection for seizures and coma. The RRMS patient required mechanical ventilation for 10 days, with subsequent short-term tracheostomy during a brainstem exacerbation. Of the four patients with NMO one made a dramatic recovery after plasmapheresis. Compared with PMS, the NMO group had a shorter time from disease onset to VS, a longer duration of ventilation, and the three patients not treated with plasma exchange or steroids did worse. The prognosis for independent ventilation (+/- tracheostomy) was worst for patients with NMO, except for one patient who received plasma exchange, and better then expected for PMS, despite poor preventilation functional status.[1]


  1. Mechanical ventilation and tracheostomy in multiple sclerosis. Pittock, S.J., Weinshenker, B.G., Wijdicks, E.F. J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiatr. (2004) [Pubmed]
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