Selective diaphragm muscle weakness after contractile inactivity during thoracic surgery.
SourceAnnals of Surgery, 254, 6, (2011), pp. 1044-1049
1 december 2011
Article / Letter to editor
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Annals of Surgery
SubjectN4i 1: Pathogenesis and modulation of inflammation
RATIONALE: Postoperative pulmonary complications are significant contributors to morbidity in patients who have undergone upper abdominal, thoracic, or cardiac surgery. The pathophysiology of these complications might involve postoperative inspiratory muscle weakness. The nature of postoperative inspiratory muscle weakness is unknown. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effect of surgery on the functioning of the diaphragm, the main muscle of inspiration. METHODS: Serial biopsies from the diaphragm and the latissimus dorsi muscle were obtained from 6 patients during thoracotomy for resection of a tumor in the right lung. Biopsies were taken as soon as the diaphragm had been exposed (t(0)) and again after 2 hours (t(2)). The contractile performance of demembranated muscle fibers, as well as fiber morphology and markers for proteolysis, was determined. RESULTS: In all patients, the force-generating capacity of diaphragm muscle fibers at t(2) was significantly reduced (~35%) compared with that at t(0), with a more pronounced force loss in type 2 fibers compared with type 1 fibers. Diaphragm weakness was not part of a generalized muscle weakness as contractile performance of latissimus dorsi fibers was preserved at t(2). Diaphragm fiber size and myofibrillar structure were not different at t(2) compared with t0, but myosin heavy chain type 2 was significantly reduced at t(2) and MuRF-1 mRNA and protein levels were elevated at t(2). CONCLUSIONS: Only 2 hours of thoracic surgery causes marked, and selective, diaphragm muscle fiber weakness.
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