Computed tomography confirms a reduction in diaphragm thickness in mechanically ventilated patients

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Purpose:Patients who require mechanical ventilation (MV) may experience diaphragm atrophy, which may delay the discontinuation of MV. Here, we used computed tomographic (CT) scans to confirm this phenomenon.Method and Materials:Patients who underwent two chest CT scans while on MV were retrospectively evaluated. Diaphragm thickness was measured using a three-dimensional CT image processing program.Results:Thirteen patients, including 8 men, who underwent 26 CT scans were assessed. The mean age was 67.8 ± 7.5 years. The interval between CT scans was 18.4 ± 14.9 days. The first CT scans revealed that the mean thicknesses of the left and right sides of the diaphragm were 3.8 ± 0.6 and 3.9 ± 0.8 mm, respectively (total: 7.7 ± 1.4 mm). These values were significantly reduced to 3.4 ± 0.6 and 3.5 ± 0.9 mm, respectively, (total: 6.9 ± 1.5 mm) after the second scan (P < .01). No significant change in body weight (57.3 ± 12.6 vs. 56.7 ± 11.6 kg) or body mass index (21.8 ± 5.1 vs. 21.6 ± 4.8 kg/m2) was observed.Conclusion:Computed tomography confirmed that diaphragm thickness was reduced in critically ill patients who underwent MV.

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