Compensatory effects following unilateral diaphragm paralysis

Obaid U. Khurram, Gary C Sieck, Carlos Bernardo Mantilla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


Injury to nerves innervating respiratory muscles such as the diaphragm muscle results in significant respiratory compromise. Electromyography (EMG) and transdiaphragmatic pressure (Pdi) measurements reflect diaphragm activation and force generation. Immediately after unilateral diaphragm denervation (DNV), ventilatory behaviors can be accomplished without impairment, but Pdi generated during higher force non-ventilatory behaviors is significantly decreased. We hypothesized that 1) the initial reduction in Pdi during higher force behaviors after DNV is ameliorated after 14 days, and 2) changes in Pdi over time after DNV are associated with concordant changes in contralateral diaphragm EMG activity and ventilatory parameters. In adult male rats, the reduced Pdi during occlusion (∼40% immediately after DNV) was ameliorated to ∼20% reduction after 14 days. Contralateral diaphragm EMG activity did not significantly change immediately or 14 days after DNV compared to the pre-injury baseline for any motor behavior. Taken together, these results suggest that over time after DNV compensatory changes in inspiratory related muscle activation may partially restore the ability to generate Pdi during higher force behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-46
Number of pages8
JournalRespiratory Physiology and Neurobiology
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017



  • Denervation
  • Diaphragm muscle
  • Motor control
  • Respiratory
  • Transdiaphragmatic pressure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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