+1 Recommend
1 collections
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      Sonographic evaluation of diaphragmatic dysfunction in COPD patients

      Read this article at

          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.



          Diaphragmatic dysfunction is an important reason for dyspnea in COPD patients. But diaphragmatic dysfunction is difficult to evaluate. Ultrasound is an option. We measure sonographically the up- and downward movement of the lung silhouette on both hemidiaphragms. The aim of this prospective investigation was to compare this method with another sonographic method that visualizes the right hemidiaphragm directly and to compare the sonographic results with lung function parameters.

          Methods and patients

          Eighty participants – 20 healthy persons and 60 COPD patients – three groups each with 20 patients with COPD GOLD II, III, and IV – were investigated. The sonographic measurements of the diaphragms were performed. Lung function parameters, blood gases, and 6-minute walk test were also collected and compared to the sonographic results.


          The sonographic measurement of the lung silhouette was easy to perform in all study participants. The correlation between the sonographic methods measuring the right hemidiaphragmatic movement was strong ( r=0.85). There was also a strong correlation between the demonstrated sonographic measurement of the up- and downward movement of the lung silhouette and the forced expiratory volume in the first second ( r=0.83).


          We demonstrated that the sonographic measurement of the movement of the lung silhouette is an easy way to establish diaphragmatic dysfunction in COPD patients; it can be done in all patients with reliable results for the right and the left hemidiaphragm.

          Video abstract

          Related collections

          Most cited references 34

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: found
          • Article: not found

          Diaphragmatic motion studied by m-mode ultrasonography: methods, reproducibility, and normal values.

          Although diaphragmatic motion is readily studied by ultrasonography, the procedure remains poorly codified. The aim of this prospective study was to determine the reference values for diaphragmatic motion as recorded by M-mode ultrasonography. Two hundred ten healthy adult subjects (150 men, 60 women) were investigated. Both sides of the posterior diaphragm were identified, and M-mode was used to display the movement of the anatomical structures. Examinations were performed during quiet breathing, voluntary sniffing, and deep breathing. Diaphragmatic excursions were measured from the M-mode sonographic images. In addition, the reproducibility (inter- and intra-observer) was assessed. Right and left diaphragmatic motions were successfully assessed during quiet breathing in all subjects. During voluntary sniffing, the measurement was always possible on the right side, and in 208 of 210 volunteers, on the left side. During deep breathing, an obscuration of the diaphragm by the descending lung was noted in subjects with marked diaphragmatic excursion. Consequently, right diaphragmatic excursion could be measured in 195 of 210 subjects, and left diaphragmatic excursion in only 45 subjects. Finally, normal values of both diaphragmatic excursions were determined. Since the excursions were larger in men than in women, the gender should be taken into account. The lower limit values were close to 0.9 cm for women and 1 cm for men during quiet breathing, 1.6 cm for women and 1.8 cm for men during voluntary sniffing, and 3.7 cm for women and 4.7 cm for men during deep breathing. We demonstrated that M-mode ultrasonography is a reproducible method for assessing hemidiaphragmatic movement.
            • Record: found
            • Abstract: found
            • Article: not found

            Disorders of the respiratory muscles.

            The act of breathing depends on coordinated activity of the respiratory muscles to generate subatmospheric pressure. This action is compromised by disease states affecting anatomical sites ranging from the cerebral cortex to the alveolar sac. Weakness of the respiratory muscles can dominate the clinical manifestations in the later stages of several primary neurologic and neuromuscular disorders in a manner unique to each disease state. Structural abnormalities of the thoracic cage, such as scoliosis or flail chest, interfere with the action of the respiratory muscles-again in a manner unique to each disease state. The hyperinflation that accompanies diseases of the airways interferes with the ability of the respiratory muscles to generate subatmospheric pressure and it increases the load on the respiratory muscles. Impaired respiratory muscle function is the most severe consequence of several newly described syndromes affecting critically ill patients. Research on the respiratory muscles embraces techniques of molecular biology, integrative physiology, and controlled clinical trials. A detailed understanding of disease states affecting the respiratory muscles is necessary for every physician who practices pulmonary medicine or critical care medicine.
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: found
              • Article: not found

              Predictors of mortality in patients with emphysema and severe airflow obstruction.

              Limited data exist describing risk factors for mortality in patients having predominantly emphysema. A total of 609 patients with severe emphysema (ages 40-83 yr; 64.2% male) randomized to the medical therapy arm of the National Emphysema Treatment Trial formed the study group. Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was used to investigate risk factors for all-cause mortality. Risk factors examined included demographics, body mass index, physiologic data, quality of life, dyspnea, oxygen utilization, hemoglobin, smoking history, quantitative emphysema markers on computed tomography, and a modification of a recently described multifunctional index (modified BODE). Overall, high mortality was seen in this cohort (12.7 deaths per 100 person-years; 292 total deaths). In multivariate analyses, increasing age (p=0.001), oxygen utilization (p=0.04), lower total lung capacity % predicted (p=0.05), higher residual volume % predicted (p=0.04), lower maximal cardiopulmonary exercise testing workload (p=0.002), greater proportion of emphysema in the lower lung zone versus the upper lung zone (p=0.005), and lower upper-to-lower-lung perfusion ratio (p=0.007), and modified BODE (p=0.02) were predictive of mortality. FEV1 was a significant predictor of mortality in univariate analysis (p=0.005), but not in multivariate analysis (p=0.21). Although patients with advanced emphysema experience significant mortality, subgroups based on age, oxygen utilization, physiologic measures, exercise capacity, and emphysema distribution identify those at increased risk of death.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                11 September 2015
                : 10
                : 1925-1930
                Department of Pneumonology, Marienkrankenhaus Kassel, Kassel, Germany
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Andreas Bastian, Department of Pneumonology, Marienkrankenhaus Kassel, Marburger Street 85, 34127 Kassel, Germany, Tel +49 561 8073 1212, Email a.bastian@
                © 2015 Scheibe et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Original Research

                Respiratory medicine

                diaphragm, sonography, ultrasound


                Comment on this article