Neuralgic amyotrophy: A rare cause of bilateral diaphragmatic paralysis.


Neuralgic amyotrophy, also known as brachial neuritis, is a well described clinical entity. Diaphragmatic dysfunction, as a result of phrenic nerve root involvement (cervical roots 3 to 5), is an uncommon, but increasingly recognized association. The case of a previously healthy 61-year-old woman who, after a prodrome of neck and shoulder discomfort, presented with severe orthopnea is described. Pulmonary function and electrophysiological studies led to a diagnosis of bilateral diaphragmatic paralysis. The patient's clinical course and the exclusion of other nerve entrapment syndromes and neurological disorders strongly favoured the diagnosis of neuralgic amyotrophy.


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