Year : 2020  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 538-540

Successful bilevel positive airway pressure therapy in a patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis after emergency laparotomy: A case report

1 Department of Anesthesia, Nippon Koukan Hospital, Kawasaki, Japan
2 Department of Surgery, Nippon Koukan Hospital, Kawasaki, Japan

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Yukihide Koyama
Department of Anesthesia, Nippon Koukan Hospital, 1-2-1, Koukan-dori, Kawasaki-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa Prefecture 210-0852
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sja.SJA_375_20

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Patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) present an increased risk of postoperative respiratory failure after general anesthesia. We report the case of a 71-year-old man with ALS who underwent emergency laparotomy for small bowel strangulation. After surgery, he remained intubated and was transferred to the high care unit under mechanical ventilation, due to unstable hemodynamics requiring inotropic support. On postoperative day (POD) 3, he was extubated under stable hemodynamics and respiratory status. Immediately after extubation, bilevel positive airway pressure (bilevel PAP) was prophylactically applied to prevent postoperative respiratory failure, which may have been caused by respiratory muscle fatigue, attributed to general anesthesia and surgical stress. On POD 7, bilevel PAP was smoothly weaned off because no signs and symptoms of respiratory failure were observed. On POD 10, he achieved 30 m-walk without rest. No postoperative complications were observed up to one month after surgery. Postoperative respiratory failure may lead to death in patients with neuromuscular disorder. Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) reduces respiratory muscle fatigue, resulting in easy sputum expectoration, promoting CO2washout, and better oxygenation. Consequently, the prophylactic use of NIV to avoid postoperative respiratory insufficiency should be considered in patients with ALS after emergency operation under general anesthesia.

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