Electrophysiologic evaluation of diaphragm by transcutaneous phrenic nerve stimulation

Omkar N. Markand, John C. Kincaid, Rahman A. Pourmand, S. S. Moorthy, Robert D. King, Yousuf Mahomed, John W. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

97 Scopus citations


Phrenic nerve function was evaluated by transcutaneous stimulation in the neck and recording the diaphragmatic potential from surface electrodes placed at the ipsilateral seventh intercostal space (7CS) and the xiphoid process (XP). Simultaneous recordings from 7CS and XP electrodes connected together (XP-7CS) and each connected to a remote reference (knee-7CS and knee-XP) disclosed that the 7CS electrode was always more active and showed electropositive activity, whereas the XP electrode, which was only minimally active, showed electronegative response. Out-ofphase summation of opposite polarity activity at the two electrodes resulted in a higher amplitude response in XP-7CS derivation. Phrenic nerve studies are useful in establishing phrenic nerve injury following cardiothoracic operation. They may also provide evidence of phrenic nerve or diaphragmatic involvement in demyelinative neuropathies, motor neuron disease, and muscular dystrophies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)604-614
Number of pages11
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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