Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: The respiratory muscles of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exhibit structural and functional changes that can be evaluated and monitored by ultrasonography. Materials and methods: This single-center, prospective study was conducted in the emergency department (ED) of a tertiary care hospital over an eight-month period (September 2020-May 2021). Diaphragmatic excursions, end-expiratory thickness, and thickening fractions, as well as right and left intercostal muscle thicknesses, of all adult subjects manifesting COPD exacerbation, were assessed. The data were analyzed regarding ward/intensive care unit (ICU) hospitalization or discharge from the ED, mortality, and readmission within 15 days. Results: Sixty-three subjects were recruited for the study. Diaphragmatic excursion, end-expiratory diaphragmatic thickness, and intercostal muscle thickness measurements were significantly different between the ward, ICU, and discharge groups (p < 0.001) but lower in the deceased subjects (all p < 0.05). The diaphragmatic excursion value of 3.25 cm was the threshold value measured for distinguishing discharge from ED, and 1.82 cm was measured for admission to the ICU, both with 100% sensitivity and selectivity (AUC = 1). Conclusion: Diaphragmatic excursion, diaphragmatic end-expiratory thickness, and right and left intercostal muscle thicknesses vary in the prognosis of subjects presenting with COPD exacerbation.


COPD, diaphragmatic thickness, diaphragmatic ultrasound, emergency department, intercostal muscle ultrasound, mortality

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