Systematic Laryngoscopic Evaluation of Upper Airways in Ventilated Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Patients in Portugal and in Norway

Study Purpose:

The study examines if titration of Non-Invasive mechanical ventilation (NIV) settings during ongoing laryngoscopic visualization can improve the compliance of NIV in subjects with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The study is a multicentre study between Norwegian National Advisory Unit on Long-term Mechanical Ventilation at the Thoracic Department, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway and Centro Hospital Tras-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal.

Study Status:

Not recruiting


Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Study Type:


Type of Intervention:


Intervention Name:

Transnasal Fiberoptic Laryngoscopy





Study Chair(s)/Principal Investigator(s):

Tiina M Andersen, PhD, Haukeland University Hospital, Bebiana Conde, PhD fellow, Centro Hospitalar Tras-os-Montes e Alto Douro ID:


Neals Affiliated?


Coordinating Center Contact Information

Full Study Summary:

ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a rare and fatal disease causing gradual loss of motor neurons and thus loss of function in all skeletal muscle, eventually also in the breathing muscles, leading to respiratory failure and ultimately death. There is no causal treatment. The treatment provided aims to improve life quality as long as possible. Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) compensates for respiratory failure as breathing deteriorates.

ALS patients with bulbar innervated muscle dysfunction (mouth, tongue, jaw, throat, larynx) have poor compliance to the use of NIV. It is not completely understood why bulbar ALS patients fails NIV, although the upper airways have been a suggested cause also of this treatment failure. The investigators in the Norwegian study group has previously examined laryngeal response patterns (using transnasal fiberoptic laryngoscopy ) during mechanically assisted cough in ALS. The studies revealed that Transnasal fiberoptic laryngoscopy was safely performed with ongoing mechanically assisted cough, and it appeared a feasible tool to visualize the laryngeal responses to mechanical cough therapy.

The further hypothesis is that the use of transnasal fiberoptic laryngoscopy during ongoing NIV titration could improve the compliance of NIV treatment in ALS.

Since ALS is a relatively rare disease and it is difficult to perform large clinical studies, a project group has been established and agreed to a common protocol of a population-based multicenter-study including two hospitals, in Bergen in Norway and Vila Real in Portugal.

Aims of the study are:

To investigate the feasibility of video-recorded Transnasal fiberoptic laryngoscopic evaluation of the upper airways applied during NIV titration, and to describe the upper airway responses to NIV treatment in patients with ALS.

To explore whether the endoscopic view of the upper airways will influence the titration of NIV settings in ALS patients.

To explore whether NIV titration with endoscopic evaluation will influence NIV compliance and ventilation effectiveness in ALS patients.

Study Sponsor:

Tiina Maarit Andersen

Estimated Enrollment:


Estimated Study Start Date:

03 / 21 / 2019

Estimated Study Completion Date:

12 / 31 / 2022

Posting Last Modified Date:

03 / 02 / 2021

Date Study Added to

03 / 22 / 2019

Minimum Age:

18 Years

Maximum Age:


Inclusion Criteria:

- Patients diagnosed Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) due to El Escorial criteria

- Must have already established Non-invasive ventilation (NIV)

Exclusion Criteria:

- Ages under 18 years

- Unstable ischemic heart disease

- Oncological disease

- Ventilatory support dependency (more than 16h per day)

Norwegian National Advisory Unit on Long-term Mechanical Ventilation at Thoracic Department, Haukeland University Hospital

Bergen, Hordaland 5021

Centro Hospitalar Tras-os-Montes e Alto Douro

Vila Real