Bilateral diaphragm paralysis following cardiac surgery in children: 10-Years' experience

Ovadia Dagan*, Revital Nimri, Yakov Katz, Einat Birk, Bernardo Vidne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To review the incidence and complications of conservative management of bilateral diaphragm paralysis following pediatric cardiac surgery. Design and setting: Retrospective clinical review based on computerized database with daily follow-up in a pediatric cardiac intensive care unit in a tertiary care center. Patient and participants: Were reviewed the data on nine patients with bilateral diaphragm paralysis from the 3,214 consecutive children (0.28%) after operations performed between 1995 and 2004. Measurements and results: A fluoroscopy-confirmed diagnosis of bilateral diaphragm paralysis was made in all nine patients. Mechanical ventilation was required for 14-62 days; maximum time to recovery was 7 weeks. Three patients underwent unilateral plication. Patients with a complicated postoperative course required longer mechanical ventilation. All patients were managed with a nasotracheal tube. One patient had minor subglottic stenosis. All patients survived. Conclusions: Bilateral diaphragm paralysis can be managed conservatively with good prognosis and minor complications. The recovery time is relatively short, less than 7 weeks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1222-1226
Number of pages5
JournalIntensive Care Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2006


  • Bilateral conservative treatment
  • Cardiac surgery
  • Diaphragm paralysis
  • Mechanical ventilation


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