Virtual Pediatric Hospital(tm) : A digital library of pediatric information

Home | About | FAQ | Reviews | Search

Virtual Pediatric Hospital: Paediapaedia: Phrenic Nerve Paralysis Paediapaedia: Neonatal Chest Diseases

Phrenic Nerve Paralysis

Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D.
Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed

Clinical Presentation:
Usually develop respiratory distress within 24 hours. Fifty percent recover fully. Erb's paralysis of the ipsilateral upper extremity is seen in 75% of patients with phrenic nerve paralysis.

In a difficult delivery such as breech, difficult forceps or shoulder dystocia, traction on an extremity or cervical hyperextension during birth can stretch cervical nerves 3-5 in the brachial plexus, thereby damaging the phrenic nerve. This causes unilateral paralysis of the diaphragm in the newborn leading to decreased respiratory effort.

Not applicable

Imaging Findings:
On fluoroscopy paradoxical motion of hemidiaphragm is seen with elevation on inspiration and descent on expiration. The mediastinum has a to-and-fro motion and shifts away from the affected side in inspiration and shifts back towards the midline on expiration. icon gif

Not applicable

See References Chapter.

Section Top | Title Page

Additional pediatric resources: | Facebook iconTwitter iconRSS icon |

Follow us on Twitter @pedseducationTwitter icon and @pedsimagingTwitter icon

About Us | FAQ | Reviews | Contact Us | Search

Virtual Pediatric Hospital is curated by Donna M. D'Alessandro, M.D. and by Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D.

Please send us comments by filling out our Comment Form.

All contents copyright © 1992-2016 Donna M. D'Alessandro, M.D. and Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D. and the authors. All rights reserved.

"Virtual Pediatric Hospital", the Virtual Pediatric Hospital logo, and "A digital library of pediatric information" are all Trademarks of Donna M. D'Alessandro, M.D. and Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D.

Virtual Pediatric Hospital is funded in whole by Donna M. D'Alessandro, M.D. and Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D. Advertising is not accepted.

Your personal information remains confidential and is not sold, leased, or given to any third party be they reliable or not.

The information contained in Virtual Pediatric Hospital is not a substitute for the medical care and advice of your physician. There may be variations in treatment that your physician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.