Ultrasonographic evaluation of the diaphragm in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Respirology. 2007 Mar;12(2):304-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1843.2006.01029.x.


Real-time diaphragmatic movement was evaluated with ultrasonography in three patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The initial complaint of two patients was weakness of the extremities followed by dyspnoea later in the disease course, while the third patient had dyspnoea as the initial symptom. Ultrasonographic analyses revealed that the contractile function of the diaphragm was not maintained during maximum inspiratory effort, with unsatisfactory diaphragmatic excursion and no change in diaphragmatic thickness during respiration, indicating diaphragmatic paralysis. Ultrasonography may be useful for the diagnosis and follow up of diaphragmatic involvement with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other motor-neuron diseases.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / physiopathology
  • Diaphragm / diagnostic imaging*
  • Diaphragm / physiopathology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Respiratory Mechanics / physiology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Ultrasonography