What is the prognosis of unilateral diaphragmatic paralysis?

Updated: Oct 10, 2018
  • Author: Justina Gamache, MD; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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Answer

Depending on the etiology of the diaphragmatic paralysis, the prognosis of unilateral disease usually is excellent unless the patient has significant underlying pulmonary disease. Patients develop compensatory mechanisms, and patients with phrenic injuries may recover fully or partially. [10] At times, patients may spontaneously recover from idiopathic disease. Patients who do not recover from unilateral diaphragmatic dysfunction generally lead relatively normal lives. In this group, dyspnea may develop with exertion, leading to increased ventilatory demands.


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