Respiratory support in the absence of abdominal muscles: A case study of ventilatory management in prune belly syndrome

H.J.C.L. Apostel*, E.L.I.M. Duval, J. De Dooy, P.G. Jorens, T. Schepens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)


Prune belly syndrome (PBS) results in a total lack of abdominal musculature. Abdominal muscles have an important function during inspiration and expiration. This puts the patient at risk for respiratory complications since they have a very limited ability to cough up secretions. Patients in an intensive care unit (ICU) with PBS who receive mechanical ventilation are at even greater risk for respiratory complications. We review the function of the abdominal muscles in breathing and delineate why they are important in the ICU. We include an illustrative case of a long-term ventilated patient with PBS and offer respiratory management options.(c) 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-47
Number of pages4
JournalPaediatric Respiratory Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021


  • Prune belly syndrome
  • Respiratory support
  • Ventilatory management

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