J Ultrasound Med. 2021 Mar 27. doi: 10.1002/jum.15706. Online ahead of print.
The diaphragm, the principle muscle of inspiration, is an under-recognized contributor to respiratory disease. Dysfunction of the diaphragm can occur secondary to lung disease, prolonged ventilation, phrenic nerve injury, neuromuscular disease, and central nervous system pathology. In light of the global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), there has been growing interest in the utility of ultrasound for evaluation of respiratory symptoms including lung and diaphragm sonography. Diaphragm ultrasound can be utilized to diagnose diaphragm dysfunction, assess severity of dysfunction, and monitor disease progression. This article reviews diaphragm and phrenic nerve ultrasound and describes clinical applications in the context of COVID-19.