Diaphragmatic spasm: A neglected cause of dyspnoea and chest pain

  • Stewart G. Wolf

DOI: 10.1007/BF02691282

Cite this article as:
Wolf, S.G. Integrative Physiological and Behavioral Science (1994) 29: 74. doi:10.1007/BF02691282


The study included 17 patients, 12 women and 5 men, with a recurrent symptom complex involving chest pain and dyspnoea characterized by inability to get a full breath. Some attacks had subsided spontaneously. Others had lasted hours or days. When examined by fluoroscopy during an attack, each subject was found to have a nearly maximally contracted (flat) diaphragm. In some of them the attack was promptly interrupted by a small intravenous injection of sodium amytal. In others it could be aborted by a conscious effort at full expiration. The syndrome associated with diaphragmatic spasm is discussed in comparison with other noncardiac sources of chest pain and dyspnoea.

Copyright information

© Springer 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stewart G. Wolf
    • 1
  1. 1.Totts Gap Medical Research LaboratoriesBangor

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