we offer the best form of collaborative, multi-specialty care with shared decision-making and real-time communications — making it a very unique and truly interdisciplinary neuromuscular clinic. My approach to care of my patients is that with good form, comes good function.



As a pediatric pulmonologist, I have a special interest in neuromuscular pulmonary medicine including sleep-disordered breathing and chest wall disorders in neuromuscular diseases and have a key interest in invasive and non-invasive mechanical ventilation. I collaborate nationally to study the respiratory management of complications of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD), congenital myopathies and spinal cord injury.

My admiration for the functionality of the chest wall, and my enjoyment of pulmonary physiology and elemental physics attracted me to this field. In our Comprehensive Neuromuscular Center, we offer the best form of collaborative, multi-specialty care with shared decision-making and real-time communications — making it a very unique and truly interdisciplinary neuromuscular clinic. My approach to care of my patients is that with good form, comes good function. That is to say, if the chest wall remains mechanically sound, it will enhance comfort and bolster the results of novel therapies.

My research efforts are directed towards exploring cardio-pulmonary interactions at different stages of the disease in DMD and enhancing respiratory care management in a variety of other muscular dystrophies and myopathies. We are also developing multidisciplinary care models for spinal cord injury, congenital myopathies and other conditions. Above all, I am committed to partnering with experts in the field and educating care providers.

Outside of work, I have found that photography has taught me the meaning of “perspective” and its application to life, and that the solitude of long bicycle rides allows for reflective contemplation.

MD: Seth GS Medical College/King Edward VIII Memorial Hospital, 1997.

Residency: Pediatrics, Brooklyn Hospital Medical Center, New York, NY, 2000.

Fellowship: Pediatric Pulmonology, Tulane Medical Center, New Orleans LA, 2003; Sleep Medicine, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 2008.

Certification: Pediatrics, 2000, recertified 2007; Pediatric Pulmonology, 2004.


Pediatric sleep disorders

Services and Specialties

Pulmonary Medicine, Sleep Disorders, Home Ventilator, Neuromuscular Disorders

Research Areas

Pulmonary Medicine

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Assessment of the relationship between disease progression and goals of care by individuals with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and their caregivers. Grossoehme, DH; Thienprayoon, R; Sawnani, H; Jenkins, R; Rossman, I; Mosher, K; Friebert, S. Muscle and Nerve. 2022; 65:646-651.

Merosin deficient congenital muscular dystrophy type 1A: An international workshop on the road to therapy 15-17 November 2019, Maastricht, the Netherlands. Smeets, HJ M; Verbrugge, B; Springuel, P; Voermans, NC; Cossu, G; de Coo, R; Diamantidis, C; Dragendorf, E; Durbeej-Hjalt, M; Dziewczapolski, G; et al. (2021) 31:673-680.

Sleep-Disordered Breathing in Neuromuscular Diseases. Sawnani, H; Gurbani, N; Pascoe, JE. Pediatric Sleep Medicine. 2021.

Sleep disordered breathing: Assessment and therapy in the age of emerging neuromuscular therapies. Gurbani, N; Pascoe, JE; Katz, S; Sawnani, H. Pediatric Pulmonology. 2021; 56:700-709.

Randomized trial of lung hyperinflation therapy in children with congenital muscular dystrophy. Sawnani, H; Mayer, OH; Modi, AC; Pascoe, JE; McConnell, K; McDonough, JM; Rutkowski, AM; Hossain, MM; Szczesniak, R; Tadesse, DG; et al. Pediatric Pulmonology. 2020; 55:2471-2478.

Recombinant human insulin-like growth factor-1 therapy for 6 months improves growth but not motor function in boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Rutter, MM; Wong, BL; Collins, JJ; Sawnani, H; Taylor, MD; Horn, PS; Backeljauw, PF. Muscle and Nerve. 2020; 61:623-631.

Clinically Asymptomatic Sleep-Disordered Breathing in Infants with Single-Ventricle Physiology. Stamm, RW; Henry, BM; Sawnani, H; Simakajornboon, N; Rulong, G; Ollberding, NJ; Hanke, SP; Dye, TJ; Cooper, DS. Journal of Pediatrics. 2020; 218:92-97.

Understanding adherence to noninvasive ventilation in youth with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Pascoe, JE; Sawnani, H; Hater, B; Sketch, M; Modi, AC. Pediatric Pulmonology. 2019; 54:2035-2043.

Comparison of Pulmonary Function Decline in Steroid-Treated and Steroid-Naïve Patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Sawnani, H; Horn, PS; Wong, B; Darmahkasih, A; Rybalsky, I; Shellenbarger, KC; Tian, C; Rutter, MM; Simakajornboon, N; Amin, R; et al. Journal of Pediatrics. 2019; 210:194-200.e2.

Sleep disordered breathing in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Sawnani, H. Paediatric Respiratory Reviews. 2019; 30:2-8.

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