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Eur Radiol. 2004 Aug;14(8):1392-9. Epub 2004 May 1.

Measurement of diaphragmatic length during the breathing cycle by dynamic MRI: comparison between healthy adults and patients with an intrathoracic tumor.

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Department of Radiology, Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.


The purpose of this study was to assess diaphragmatic length and shortening during the breathing cycle in healthy volunteers and patients with a lung tumor using dynamic MRI (dMRI). In 15 healthy volunteers and 28 patients with a solitary lung tumor, diaphragmatic motion and length were measured during the breathing cycle using a trueFISP sequence (three images per second in the coronal and sagittal plane). Time-distance curves and maximal length reduction (= shortening) of the diaphragm were calculated. The influence of tumor localization on diaphragmatic shortening was examined. In healthy volunteers maximal diaphragmatic shortening was 30% in the coronal and 34% in the sagittal orientation, with no difference between both hemithoraces. Tumors of the upper and middle lung region did not affect diaphragmatic shortening. In contrast, tumors of the lower lung region changed shortening significantly ( P<0.05). In hemithoraces with a tumor in the lower region, shortening was 18% in the coronal and 19% in the sagittal plane. The ratio of diaphragmatic length change from inspiration to expiration changed significantly from healthy subjects (inspiration length >> expiratory length, P<0.05) to patients with a tumor in the lower lung region (inspiratory length = expiratory length). dMRI is a simple, non-invasive method to evaluate diaphragmatic motion and shortening in volunteers and patients during the breathing cycle. Tumors of the lower lung region have a significant influence on shortening of the diaphragm.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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