Diaphragm pacing in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A literature review

Katalin Scherer, Richard S. Bedlack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) remains a rapidly progressive fatal degenerative disease of motor neurons for which there are few interventions to slow disease progression or improve quality of life. A diaphragm pacing system was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in September 2011 for ALS under a Humanitarian Device Exemption. News of this approval has been met with a combination of excitement and uncertainty by members of the ALS community. We review the currently available data on the diaphragm pacing system and its use in ALS. Diaphragm pacing appears to be reasonably safe in carefully selected patients, but flaws in the reporting on it thus far preclude conclusions regarding efficacy. Further study is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Diaphragm pacing
  • Food and Drug Administration
  • Phrenic nerve pacing
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Physiology (medical)


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