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Wednesday, March 12, 2014
COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
Mild Flattening of Diaphragm
What does this mean? Do I have emphysema?
Flattening of the diaphragm is caused by over-distension of the lungs. As the thoracic (chest) cavity is encased within the rib cage, pressing downward is the most common response to this over-distension of lung tissue. While this is a common sign seen in emphysema, this alone is not diagnostic.
You should see your physician for further evaluation including pulmonary function testing (PFTs). A complete physical examination with PFTs can provide an answer to your question.
Gerene S Bauldoff, RN, PhD, FCCP, FAACVPR, FAAN
Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University