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Keywords:

  • noninvasive mechanical ventilation;
  • home treatment;
  • children;
  • chronic respiratory insufficiency;
  • France

Abstract

Experience with domiciliary noninvasive mechanical ventilation (NIMV) in children is limited. The aim of this study was to determine the number of patients and categorize the use of domiciliary NIMV in children in France.

An anonymous cross-sectional national study was performed, using a postal questionnaire sent to all specialist centers utilizing domiciliary NIMV for chronic respiratory failure. Patients aged <18 years and receiving home NIMV were included in the study.

Detailed information was obtained from 102 patients from 15 centers: 4/15 centers cared for 84% of patients; 7% of patients were under 3 years old; 35% were between 4–11 years old; and 58% were older than 12 years. Underlying diagnoses included neuromuscular disease (34%), obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and/or cranio-facial abnormalities (30%), cystic fibrosis (17%), congenital hypoventilation (9%), scoliosis (8%), and other disorders (2%). NIMV was started because of nocturnal hypoventilation (67%), acute exacerbation (28%), and/or failure to thrive (21%). Volume-targeted ventilation was preferred in restrictive disorders (56%) and central hypoventilation (56%), while pressure support ventilation (PSV) was preferred in cystic fibrosis (71%). Patients with OSA and/or cranio-facial abnormalities were ventilated with continuous positive airway pressure (45%) or bilevel PSV (52%).

In conclusion, NIMV is currently used in France for the domiciliary management of children with a variety of conditions causing chronic respiratory failure. However, NIMV in children is still performed on a small scale, and combined with the heterogeneity of the patient population, its application would best be served by centers specializing in the initiation and long-term follow-up of these patients. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2003; 35:119–125. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.