May the phrenic nerve heal

Diaphragmatic palsy

Synonym: diaphragmatic paralysis

1 definition

The Diaphragmatic palsy, short ZP, is a paralysis of the diaphragm. It is caused by failure of the phrenic nerve on one or both sides.

2 classification

A distinction is made between unilateral and bilateral diaphragmatic paresis, each of which has different causes.

3 causes

3.1 Unilateral diaphragmatic palsy

Due to its long course, the phrenic nerve is susceptible to disorders that originate from the anatomical structures surrounding it, including tumors (bronchial carcinoma, lymphomas of the mediastinum, neurofibromas) and aortic aneurysms, but also abscesses (e.g. subphrenic abscess). Other possible causes are:

3.2 Bilateral diaphragmatic palsy

Diaphragmatic palsy without an identifiable cause (idiopathic diaphragmatic palsy) can also occur on one or both sides.

4 symptoms

Unilateral diaphragmatic palsy usually causes no or only discrete symptoms. Indications could be recurrent respiratory infections or exertional dyspnea. The bilateral diaphragmatic palsy triggers respiratory insufficiency with dyspnea - especially when lying down. Paradoxical breathing occurs with retraction of the abdominal wall on inspiration.

5 diagnostics

6 therapy

In mild cases conservative (physiotherapy). If the symptoms are symptomatic, the diaphragm can be tightened.