BACKGROUND: There is an increasing demand for home mechanical ventilation (HMV) in patients with chronic respiratory insufficiency. At present, noninvasive ventilation is exclusively initiated in a clinical setting at all four centers for HMV in the Netherlands. In addition to its high societal costs and patient discomfort, commencing HMV is often delayed because of a lack of hospital bed capacity. RESEARCH QUESTION: Is HMV initiation at home, using a telemonitoring approach, noninferior to in-hospital initiation in a nationwide study? STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: We conducted a nationwide, randomized controlled noninferiority trial, in which every HMV center recruited 24 patients (home [n ¼ 12] vs hospital [n ¼ 12]) with a neuromuscular disease or thoracic cage disorder, all with an indication to start HMV. Change in arterial CO2 (PaCO2) over a 6-month period was considered the primary outcome, and quality of life and costs were assessed as secondary outcomes. RESULTS: A total of 96 patients were randomized, most of them diagnosed with neuromuscular disease.We found a significant improvement in PaCO2within both groups (home: from 6.1 to 5.6 kPa [P < .01]; hospital: from 6.3 to 5.6 kPa [P < .01]), with no significant differences between groups. Health-related quality of life showed significant improvement on various subscales; however, no significant differences were observed between the home and hospital groups. From a societal perspective, a cost reduction ofmore thanV3,200 ($3,793) per patientwas evident in the home group. INTERPRETATION: This nationwide, multicenter study shows that HMV initiation at home is noninferior to hospital initiation, as it shows the same improvement in gas exchange and healthrelated quality of life. In fact, from a patient’s perspective, it might even be a more attractive approach. In addition, starting at home saves overV3,200 ($3,793) per patient over a 6-month period.

neuromuscular disease, noninvasive ventilation, telemedicine, thoracic cage abnormality,
Chest: the cardiopulmonary and critical care journal

van den Biggelaar, R.J.M., Hazenberg, A., Cobben, N.A.M, Gaytant, M.A., Vermeulen, K.M, & Wijkstra, PJ. (2020). A Randomized Trial of Initiation of Chronic Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation at Home vs In-Hospital in Patients With Neuromuscular Disease and Thoracic Cage Disorder: The Dutch Homerun Trial. Chest: the cardiopulmonary and critical care journal, 158(6), 2493–2501. doi:10.1016/j.chest.2020.07.007