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Identification and Treatment of Bronchoconstriction Induced by a Vagus Nerve Stimulator Employed for Management of Seizure Disorder*

Jagdeep S. Bijwadia, MD, FCCP; Robert C. Hoch, MD, FCCP; Donn D. Dexter, MD
Author and Funding Information

*From the Departments of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine (Drs. Bijwadia and Hoch) and Neurology (Dr. Dexter), Luther Midelfort/Mayo Health System, Eau Claire, WI.

Correspondence to: Jagdeep Bijwadia, MD, FCCP, Regions Hospital, 640 Jackson St, St. Paul, MN 55101; e-mail: jagdeep.s.bijwadia@healthpartners.com



Chest. 2005;127(1):401-402. doi:10.1378/chest.127.1.401
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We evaluated a 63-year-old woman who developed dyspnea with a sensation of chest tightness that was temporally associated with discharges from a vagus nerve stimulator that had been implanted for the control of intractable seizures. Spirometry demonstrated the development of significant airflow obstruction associated with the firing of the stimulator. Adjustment of the stimulator settings resolved the discharge-associated bronchoconstrictive phenomenon. These findings highlight an important association between vagus nerve stimulators and dyspnea that should be considered in the differential diagnosis of patients with these devices who present with dyspnea and/or chest tightness. The relative importance of vagal stimulation to bronchoconstriction is suggested by the findings.


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