Differences of the Truncal Expansion and Respiratory Function between Children with Spastic Diplegic and Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy

J Phys Ther Sci. 2013 Dec;25(12):1633-5. doi: 10.1589/jpts.25.1633. Epub 2014 Jan 8.


[Purpose] We attempted to determine whether differences of respiratory function could be found in terms of truncal expansion, respiratory muscle strength, and pulmonary function test (PFT) between children with spastic diplegic and hemiplegic cerebral palsy. [Subjects and Methods] We recruited 19 children with spastic diplegic CP (diplegic-CP group) and 10 children with spastic hemiplegic CP (hemiplegic-CP group). For all the children, clinical factors associated with respiratory functions were assessed in terms of truncal expansion (chest and waist expansion), respiratory muscle strength (maximal inspiration and expiration pressures: MIP and MEP), and pulmonary function test (FVC, FEV1, and FEV1/FVC). [Results] Overall, the diplegic-CP group showed lower truncal circumference, respiratory muscle strength, and pulmonary function values than the hemiplegic-CP group. However, in the comparison of the two groups significant differences were only found in waist expansion, MIP, MEP, FVC, and FEV1. [Conclusion] The results of this study indicate that children with diplegic CP have much poorer waist expansion, weaker respiratory muscle, and lower pulmonary function values. These findings will provide valuable information for use in the clinical assessment and treatment of children with spastic CP.

Keywords: Pulmonary function test; Respiratory muscle strength; Spastic cerebral palsy.