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Chest. 1992 Dec;102(6):1683-6.

Sonographic measurement of diaphragmatic motion after coronary artery bypass surgery.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Rochester, Rochester General Hospital, NY 14621.


Forty-eight patients were prospectively evaluated following coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) in order to determine values for diaphragmatic mobility by sonography, to compare diaphragmatic motion to chest x-ray findings, to relate diaphragmatic motion to pulmonary function tests, and to determine whether use of the left internal mammary artery (LIMA), aortic cross-clamp time, or other clinical variables were predictive of diaphragmatic dysfunction. Mean left diaphragmatic motion was 2.8 +/- 1.1 cm (range, 1.0 to 5.7 cm), mean right diaphragmatic motion was 3.9 +/- 1.1 cm (range, 1.8 to 6.4 cm), and ratio of left to right motion was 0.74 +/- 0.27 (range, 0.19 to 1.4). Forty-one patients had normally positioned diaphragms on the chest x-ray film; four of these had poor mobility by ultrasonography (< 1.6 cm). Of the seven elevated left hemidiaphragms on chest x-ray films, three had an excursion of 1.6 cm or more by ultrasonography. The mean FVC for all patients was 59 +/- 13 percent of predicted. There was no relationship between diaphragmatic mobility and FVC or negative inspiratory pressure. The diaphragmatic motion in 36 patients having LIMA grafting was similar to those without (2.7 +/- 1.2 cm [n = 36] vs 2.8 +/- 0.8 cm [n = 12], respectively). Aortic cross-clamp time and respiratory symptoms also did not correlate with diaphragmatic mobility. Sonography can be used in the evaluation of diaphragmatic motion after CABG and may be more accurate in detecting a poorly mobile diaphragm than is the chest x-ray film.

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