Which clinical history findings are characteristic of bilateral diaphragmatic paralysis?

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

Bilateral diaphragmatic paralysis is characterized by profound abnormalities of pulmonary and respiratory muscle function. Patients develop severe restrictive ventilatory impairment, and the vital capacity and total lung capacity frequently are below 50% of predicted for that patient. Lung capacity is reduced further when the patient assumes the supine position. Symptoms depend on whether the paralysis is unilateral or bilateral, how rapid the paralysis occurs, and the presence of underlying pulmonary disease.


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