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Ultrasound Assessment Of Diaphragmatic Function During Acute Exacerbation Of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Pilot Study

Authors Lim SY, Lim G, Lee YJ, Cho YJ, Park JS, Yoon HI, Lee JH, Lee CT

Received 6 May 2019

Accepted for publication 21 October 2019

Published 7 November 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 2479—2484


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Sung Yoon Lim,1 Gajin Lim,2 Yeon Joo Lee,1 Young Jae Cho,1 Jong Sun Park,1 Ho Il Yoon,1,2 Jae Ho Lee,1,2 Choon-Taek Lee1,3

1Division of Pulmonology and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea; 2Division of Pulmonology Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Cheongju Hana Hospital, Cheongju-si, Korea; 3Division of Pulmonology and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

Correspondence: Choon-Taek Lee
Division of Pulmonology and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 82, Gumi-ro 173beon-gil, Bundang-gu, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do, Seongnam, Seoul, South Korea
Tel +82 31 787 7002
Fax +82 31 787 4052

Purpose: Impairment of diaphragmatic function is one of the main pathophysiological mechanisms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and is known to be related to acute exacerbation. Ultrasonography (US) allows for a simple, non-invasive assessment of diaphragm kinetics. The purpose of this study was to investigate the changes in diaphragmatic function during acute exacerbation of COPD, by US.
Methods: This single-center, prospective study included patients with acute exacerbation of COPD symptoms. US measurements were performed within 72 hrs after exacerbation and after improvement of symptoms. Diaphragmatic excursion and its thickening fraction (TF) were measured as markers of diaphragmatic function. TF was calculated as (thickness at end inspiration – thickness at end expiration)/thickness at end expiration.
Results: Ten patients were enrolled. All patients were male, and the mean age was 79.8 years. The TF of the right diaphragm showed a significant increase from the initial to the follow-up values (80.1 ± 104.9 mm vs. 159.5 ± 224.6 mm, p = 0.011); however, the diaphragmatic excursion did not vary significantly between the initial and follow-up values (22 ± 6 mm vs 23 ±12 mm). The change in excursion between the stable and exacerbation periods was positively correlated with time to the next exacerbation and negatively correlated with the time taken to recover from the exacerbation.
Conclusion: These data support the possibility that a defect in diaphragm thickening is related to acute exacerbation of COPD.

Keywords: ultrasonography, diaphragmatic excursion, diaphragmatic thickening, exacerbation, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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