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Brain Neurorehabil. 2019 Mar;12(1):e4. English. Case Report.
Kim MG , Sul B , Hong BY , Kim JS , Lim SH .
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, St. Vincent's Hospital, Suwon, Korea.
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.

Central hypoventilation syndrome is a rare and fatal condition resulting from various central nervous system disorders that is characterized by a failure of automatic breathing. We report a case of central hypoventilation syndrome following posterior circulation stroke whose pulmonary function was improved by respiratory rehabilitation. A 59-year-old woman with a history of hemorrhagic stroke of the bilateral cerebellum was hospitalized due to pneumonia. A portable ventilator was applied via tracheostomy, recurrent episodes of apnea and hypercapnia impeded weaning. A respiratory rehabilitation program including chest wall range of motion exercise, air stacking exercise, neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) on abdominal muscles, upper extremity ergometer, locomotor training, high-frequency chest wall oscillator, mechanical insufflation, and exsufflation was employed, as spirometry showed a severe restrictive pattern. A spontaneous breathing trial was started, and a portable ventilator was applied for 8 hours, only during nighttime, to prevent sudden apneic event. After 4 weeks of treatment, follow-up spirometry showed much improved respiratory parameters. This case suggests that respiratory rehabilitation can improve pulmonary function parameters and quality of life in central hypoventilation syndrome.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.