Dysfunction of the Diaphragm

Imaging as a Diagnostic Tool

Nadir Kharma


Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2013;19(4):394-398. 

In This Article


In the field of diaphragmatic imaging, there are several modalities to choose from. Some of them focus on the anatomic abnormalities of the diaphragm that may suggest dysfunction such as plain chest radiographs and CT. Other tools are better suited for functional imaging such as fluoroscopy, and ultrasonography. Dynamic MRI is another emerging tool that is potentially powerful and may offer a more detailed understanding of diaphragmatic dysfunction. Currently, experience in diaphragmatic MRI is limited to research centres. More research on the efficacy, feasibility and cost-effectiveness of dynamic MRI is needed before it is incorporated in clinical practice. At this time, it seems that ultrasonography is an informative and practical imaging modality, given its portability, lack of ionizing radiation and reasonable costs of operation.