Effect of Lung Volume Recruitment on Pulmonary Function in Progressive Childhood-Onset Neuromuscular Disease: A Systematic Review

Published:August 31, 2020DOI:



      The focus of this systematic review was to consider whether lung volume recruitment (LVR) has an effect on pulmonary function test parameters in individuals with progressive childhood-onset neuromuscular diseases. The review was registered on PROSPERO (No. CRD42019119541).

      Data Sources

      A systematic search of the CINAHL, MEDLINE, AMED, EMCARE, Scopus, and Open Grey databases was undertaken in January 2019 considering LVR in the respiratory management of childhood-onset neuromuscular diseases.

      Study Selection

      Studies were included if either manual resuscitator bags or volume-controlled ventilators were used to perform LVR with participants older than 6 years of age. Critical appraisal tools from the Joanna Briggs Institute were used to assess the quality of studies. Nine studies were identified, 6 of which were of sufficient quality to be included in the review.

      Data Extraction

      Data extraction used a tool adapted from the Cochrane effective practice and organization of care group.

      Data Synthesis

      Results were compiled using a narrative synthesis approach focused on peak cough flow, forced vital capacity, and maximum inspiratory capacity outcomes.


      Limited evidence suggests an immediate positive effect of LVR on peak cough flow and a potential long-term effect on the rate of forced vital capacity decline. Considering the accepted correlation between forced vital capacity and morbidity, this review suggests that LVR be considered for individuals with childhood-onset neuromuscular diseases once forced vital capacity starts to deteriorate. This review is limited by small sample sizes and the overall paucity of evidence considering LVR in this population group. Controlled trials with larger sample sizes are urgently needed.


      List of abbreviations:

      DMD (Duchenne muscular dystrophy), FVC (forced vital capacity), LVR (lung volume recruitment), MIC (maximal inspiratory capacity), NMD (neuromuscular diseases), PCF (peak cough flow), SMA (spinal muscular atrophy)
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