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Diaphragm Thickness and Inspiratory Muscle Functions in Chronic Stroke Patients

Minkyu Kim, Kyeongbong Lee, Jieun Cho, Wanhee Lee

(Department of Physical Therapy, The Graduate School, Sahmyook University, Seoul, South Korea)

Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:1247-1253

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.900529

BACKGROUND: The aims of this study are to investigate the difference between the diaphragm thickness at end expiration and the thickness at total lung capacity (TLC), and to examine differences in inspiratory muscle function between stroke patients and healthy individuals.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Forty-five stroke patients and 49 healthy volunteers were included in this study. Diaphragm thickness was measured at end expiration and at TLC by ultrasonography. The maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP), peak inspiratory flow (PIF), vital capacity (VC), and inspiratory muscle endurance (IME) were assess to evaluate inspiratory muscle function.
RESULTS: In stroke patients, the diaphragm was significantly thinner on the affected side than the less affected side at end expiration and at TLC. The change between the thickness at end expiration and at TLC were also significant on both sides. Between groups, the difference in diaphragm thickness at end expiration was not significant, but at TLC, the diaphragms were significantly thicker in healthy individuals than on either side in stroke patients, and the change in diaphragm thickness was significantly greater for healthy individuals. Inspiratory muscle functions were also significantly greater in healthy individuals. MIP, PIF, and VC were positively correlated with the change in thickness in healthy individuals, and MIP was positively correlated with the change in thickness and IME in stroke patients.
CONCLUSIONS: Stroke patients showed decreases in the thickening ability of the diaphragm at TLC and in inspiratory muscle function. The change between the diaphragm thickness at end expiration and at TLC was positively correlated with MIP, PIF, and VC.

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