Ultrasonography for Screening and Follow-Up of Diaphragmatic Dysfunction in the ICU: A Pilot Study

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Purpose:Reversibility and impact of diaphragmatic dysfunction (DD) are unknown. The principal aim was to describe diaphragmatic function as assessed by ultrasonography during weaning trials.Materials and Methods:The present study is a 6-month single-center prospective study. All patients under mechanical ventilation for more than 7 days and eligible for a spontaneous breathing trial (SBT) were enrolled prospectively.Intervention:Two blinded ultrasonographers evaluated each hemidiaphragm during SBT. Prevalence of DD among weaning failure and death and interobserver reproducibility have been evaluated.Results:The 34 included patients had a mean Simplified Acute Physiology Score version II of 55.7 ± 14 and a median intensive care unit (ICU) stay length of 17 days (13-30). Diaphragmatic dysfunction was found in 13 (38%) patients, on both sides in 8. Bilateral DD resolved before ICU discharge in 5 of the 7 reevaluated patients. No weaning failures were recorded. The ICU mortality was higher in patients with DD (37% vs 5%, P = .048). Mean interobserver agreement rate was 91%. Reproducibility was better with M-mode.Conclusion:The ICU-acquired DD usually improves before ICU discharge but might constitute a marker for greater disease severity. The present preliminary results require confirmation in a larger prospective multicenter study.

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