Radioactive xenon-133 was used to study the regional lung function of five patients with unilateral diaphragmatic paralysis unassociated with intrathoracic disease. All patients showed a reduction in total lung capacity to which the affected side contributed an average of 37%. There was a decrease in the amount of inhaled xenon and a lesser decrease in the amount of injected xenon reaching the lung base on the paralysed side.The distribution in the opposite lung did not differ significantly from that found in normal subjects although the proportion of inhaled xenon reaching the lung base was rather less than in the normal group. The washout of injected xenon was normal except for slight impairment at the lung base on the paralysed side in one patient and at both bases in another.
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