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Am J Med. 1978 Jul;65(1):89-95.

Bilateral diaphragmatic paralysis with hypercapnic respiratory failure. A physiologic assessment.

Abstract

Bilateral diaphragmatic paralysis was suspected in a patient presenting with hypercapnic respiratory failure who exhibited paradoxic (i.e., inward) abdominal movement on inspiration during tidal breathing in the supine posture; no paradoxic abdominal motion was observed at the bedside with the patient upright. Transdiaphragmatic pressure measurements established the diagnosis of diaphragmatic paralysis, although 20 cm H2O pressure developed across the diaphragm during the latter part of a forced expiration, presumably due to the development of passive tension in the diaphragm as it was stretched near residual volume. Analysis of the relative motion of the rib cage and abdomen during breathing by the use of magnetometers confirmed the presence of abdominal paradox throughout the breathing cycle when the patient was supine, and established that paradoxic motion of the abdomen also occurred when the patient was in the erect posture but only in the latter half of inspiration. Our findings confirm that the use of transdiaphragmatic pressure measurements and magnetometry will help to quantify diaphragmatic function, that passive tension develops in the paralyzed diaphragm near residual volume and should not be confused with active contraction, and that paradoxic motion of the abdomen may be masked from the clinician when the patient is erect.

PMID:
686005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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