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Phrenic nerve injury following blunt trauma
  1. David Bell,
  2. Ajith Siriwardena
  1. University Department of Surgery, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh
  1. Correspondence to: Mr Siriwardena, Department of Surgery, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester M13 9WL (ajith{at}


Phrenic nerve trauma in the absence of direct injury is unusual and may present diagnostic difficulty. Diaphragmatic paralysis resulting from phrenic nerve injury may closely mimic diaphragmatic rupture. This case highlights the value of magnetic resonance imaging in establishing diaphragmatic integrity and of ultrasonographic assessment during respiratory excursion in confirming diaphragmatic paralysis. In cases of non-contact injury involving torsional injury to the neck, an index of clinical awareness may help to establish the diagnosis of phrenic nerve trauma.

  • phrenic nerve injury
  • blunt trauma

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  • Funding: none.

  • Conflicts of interest: none.