What is the role of inspiratory pressure testing in the workup of diaphragmatic paralysis?

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

Patients with diaphragmatic dysfunction and paralysis have a decrease in maximal inspiratory pressures (PI max). These patients cannot generate high negative inspiratory pressures. Therefore, the Pl max in these patients is less negative than -60 cm water.

Important to note is that decreased maximal pressures are the hallmark of bilateral diaphragmatic paralysis. The decrease may not be as easy to detect in those with unilateral diaphragm paralysis.


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