Replacement of fluoroscopy by ultrasonography in the evaluation of hemidiaphragm function, an exploratory prospective study

Søren Helbo Skaarup*, Peter Juhl-Olsen, Anne Sofie Grundahl, Brian Bridal Løgstrup

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Dysfunction of the diaphragm may ultimately lead to respiratory insufficiency and compromise patient outcome. Evaluation of diaphragm function is cumbersome. Fluoroscopy has been the gold standard to measure diaphragmatic excursion. Ultrasonography can visualize diaphragm excursion and holds many advantages such as no radiation exposure, increased portability and accessibility. However, correlation between fluoroscopy and ultrasonography has never been studied. We aimed to compare fluoroscopic and ultrasound measures of diaphragm excursion to determine if ultrasonography can replace fluoroscopy.

METHODS: We performed ultrasound and fluoroscopy simultaneously during sniff inspiration and at total inspiratory capacity in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart failure and in healthy volunteers. Cranio-caudal excursion was measured by fluoroscopy and compared directly to M-mode excursion, B-mode excursion, area change, resting thickness, thickening fraction and contraction velocity measured by ultrasonography.

RESULTS: Forty-two participants were included. The Pearson correlation between M-mode and fluoroscopy excursion was 0.61. The slope was 0.9 (90%CI 0.76-1.04) in a regression analysis. Using the Bland-Altman method, the bias was - 0.39 cm (95% CI - 1.04-0.26), p = 0.24. The Pearson correlation between fluoroscopy and B-mode and area change ultrasonography was high; low for thickness and fraction. All correlations were lower during sniff inspiration compared with inspiratory capacity breathing.

CONCLUSION: Ultrasonography has an acceptable correlation and bias compared to fluoroscopy and can thus be used as the primary tool to evaluate diaphragm excursion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1
JournalThe Ultrasound Journal
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2024


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  • Diaphragm studies

    Skaarup, S. H. (PI)


    Project: Research

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