Diaphragm pacing for the ventilatory support of the quadriplegic patients with respiratory paralysis

H. Cheng, L. S. Wang, H. C. Pan, H. M. Shoung, L. S. Lee

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Electrical stimulation of the phrenic nerve to pace the diaphragm in patients with chronic ventilatory insufficiency has been an established therapeutic modality since William W.L.Glenn first described using radiofrequency signals in 1978 to stimulate the phrenic nerves. Before this event, patients who were ventilator-dependent and thus bedridden because of respiratory paralysis associated with quadriplegia usually anticipated little chance for physical or psychosocial rehabilitation. Two cases of C1-C2 subluxtion with cord injury and chronic ventilatory insufficiency were implanted at VGH-Taipei with diaphragm pacemaker in 1988. Postoperative phrenic nerve stimulation was given according to individual training schedule. One case with total phrenic paralysis received bilateral phrenic nerve stimulation and became weaned from the ventilator 6 months later. The other case with partially active ventilatory function received unilateral phrenic nerve stimulation to compensate the ventilation. However, its final outcome still showed the necessity of a bilateral mode to achieve adequate ventilation irrespective of strenuous training for 2 years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-122
Number of pages7
JournalZhonghua yi xue za zhi = Chinese medical journal; Free China ed
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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