Electrophysiological assessment of respiratory function

Author: Yih-Chih Jacinta Kuo1, Kai-Hsiang Stanley Chen2
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup> Department of Neurology, National Taiwan University Hospital Hsin-Chu Branch, Hsin-Chu, Taiwan. <sup>2</sup> Department of Neurology, National Taiwan University Hospital Hsin-Chu Branch, Hsin-Chu, Taiwan. Electronic address: stanleychen1230@gmail.com.
Conference/Journal: Handb Clin Neurol
Date published: 2022 Aug 31
Other: Volume ID: 189 , Pages: 15-40 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/B978-0-323-91532-8.00002-1. , Word Count: 195

While the traditional lung function tests are used to assess lung capacity and pulmonary function, they cannot evaluate respiratory driving function and the integrity of the conduction pathway from the central nervous system to the respiratory motor neuron in the spinal cord and to the diaphragm. The inspiratory trigger is sent from the central nervous system through the phrenic nerve and drives the diaphragm to generate inspiratory movement. Therefore, phrenic nerve stimulation and diaphragmatic electromyography are two fundamental methods to assess respiratory function. There are several useful tools to assess respiratory motor system including electrical or magnetic phrenic nerve stimulation, diaphragmatic needle electromyography, and diaphragmatic ultrasound. By these means, physicians can assess current respiratory status in different neurological diseases that affect respiratory muscles, follow-up of the severity of respiratory impairment, help to predict the chance of successfully weaning from ventilatory support, and confirm clinical diagnoses such as diaphragmatic myoclonus. Although some of these tests require special training, applying these neurophysiological assessments in clinical practice is highly recommended.

Keywords: Compound muscle action potential; Diaphragm; Needle electromyography; Phrenic nerve pacing; Phrenic nerve stimulation; Respiratory failure; Transcranial magnetic stimulation; Ultrasonography.

PMID: 36031302 DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-323-91532-8.00002-1