What is restrictive lung disease?

Restrictive lung disease refers to a group of thoracic deformities that result in inefficient coupling between the respiratory muscles and the thoracic cage. The disorders are usually characterised by a restrictive defect and share the potential to cause long term hypercapnic respiratory failure.1

The most common thoracic abnormality leading to respiratory failure is thoracoplasty. Scoliosis and/or kyphoscoliosis may also cause severe respiratory failure.

Symptoms of respiratory failure include:

  • dyspnoea on exertion1
  • peripheral edema1
  • orthopnoea1
  • morning headaches1
  • fatigue1
  • poor sleep quality1
  • loss of appetite.


  • 01

    Shneerson JM, Simonds AK. Noninvasive ventilation for chest wall and neuromuscular disorders. Eur Respir J. 2002; 20:480-487

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