Table 3. Indications for sleep studies in inherited neuromuscular disorders
Indication for sleep studyComment
Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnoea or hypoventilation
Recurrent chest infectionsMay indicate nocturnal hypoventilation, consider secretion clearance adjuncts
Loss of ambulation because of progressive weakness or in those who never attain ability to walkOften a feature in Duchenne muscular dystrophy
Vital capacity <60% predicted
Diaphragm weaknessUsually bilateral diaphragm weakness required for nocturnal hypoventilation to develop, but unilateral weakness combined with other lung disease may precipitate sleep disordered breathing
Infantile onset muscle weaknessOften associated with severe muscle weakness
Rigid spine syndromeNocturnal hypoventilation can occur despite near normal vital capacity
Assessment for surgery or pregnancy feasibilityConsider as part of evaluation of patients with neuromuscular disease in addition to pulmonary function tests, measurement of respiratory muscle strength and echocardiography
  • Reproduced from [1] with permission from the publisher.