Favorable early results have been reported utilizing transthoracic diaphragmatic plication in symptomatic children with phrenic nerve injury. However, little has been published about the late functional results of this technique. Since 1976, 10 of 3,000 patients operated on for congenital heart disease have sustained phrenic nerve injury with subsequent respiratory embarrassment. An additional patient sustained phrenic nerve injury as a result of birth trauma. The diagnosis was confirmed by paradoxical diaphragmatic motion on fluoroscopy. All but 2 patients were less than 5 months old at the time of diaphragmatic plication, and the average weight was 5.4 kg. The indication for diaphragmatic plication was inability to wean from the ventilator in 8 of the 11 patients and persistent postoperative tachypnea, stridor, and CO2 retention in the remaining 3 patients. A more aggressive approach to diagnosis and operative treatment since 1980 has resulted in a substantially shorter duration of endotracheal intubation and a shorter stay in the intensive care unit. Diaphragmatic fluoroscopy 1 to 7 years postoperatively has demonstrated return of normal function in 6 of 6 patients studied.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine