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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2003 Jul 1;168(1):109-13. Epub 2003 Apr 24.

Chest wall kinematics in patients with hemiplegia.

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Fondazione Don C. Gnocchi (IRCCS), Via Imprunetana, 124 50020 Pozzolatico, Florence, Italy.


Owing to difficulties in measuring ventilation symmetry, good evidence of different right/left respiratory movements has not yet been provided. We investigated VT differences between paretic and healthy sides during quiet breathing, voluntary hyperventilation, and hypercapnic stimulation in patients with hemiparesis. We studied eight patients with hemiparesis and nine normal sex- and age-matched subjects. Right- and left-sided VT was reconstructed using optoelectronic plethysmography. In control subjects, no asymmetry was found in the study conditions. VTs of paretic and healthy sides were similar during quiet breathing, but paretic VT was lower during voluntary hyperventilation in six patients and higher during hypercapnic stimulation in eight patients (p = 0.02). The ventilatory response to hypercapnic stimulation was higher on the paretic than on the healthy side (p = 0.012). In conclusion, hemiparetic stroke produces asymmetric ventilation with an increase in carbon dioxide sensitivity and a decrease in voluntary ventilation on the paretic side.

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