Bach JR, Goncalves M: Ventilator weaning by lung expansion and decannulation. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2004;83:560–568.
This case series of ventilator-dependent patients with neuromuscular disease who had no ventilator-free breathing ability demonstrates that decannulation and switching to continuous noninvasive intermittent positive-pressure ventilation combined with regular lung expansion therapy can result in improvements in pulmonary function and at least partial ventilator weaning. These six patients were also managed using mechanical insufflation-exsufflation for regular lung expansion and cough assistance. Thus, some ventilator users with neuromuscular disease can benefit from tracheostomy tube decannulation and transition to noninvasive intermittent positive-pressure ventilation and assisted coughing for ventilator weaning to predominantly nocturnal-only use.