Hemidiaphragmatic Paralysis Post Stroke Leading to Hypercapneic Respiratory Failure

Cureus. 2021 Feb 4;13(2):e13141. doi: 10.7759/cureus.13141.


Unilateral diaphragmatic paralysis is a rare complication after stroke. We report a case of right-sided hemidiaphragmatic paralysis after stroke in a 51-year-old man who presented with shortness of breath and orthopnea. Chest X-ray (CXR) revealed an elevated right-sided hemidiaphragm. The weakened diaphragmatic contraction from paralyzed right hemidiaphragm resulted in persistent atelectasis of the right lung base and inadequate alveolar ventilation leading to the development of right basal pneumonia with hypercapneic respiratory failure. However, the patient had a remarkable improvement with the appropriate institution of non-invasive ventilation and medical management with intravenous antibiotics.

Keywords: diaphragmatic paralysis; hypercapneic respiratory failure; non invasive ventilation; pneumonia; stroke.

Publication types

  • Case Reports