Airway and tissue mechanics during physiological breathing and bronchoconstriction in dogs

K. R. Lutchen, B. Suki, Q. Zhang, F. Petak, B. Daroczy, Z. Hantos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

68 Citations (Scopus)


In five open-chest dogs and with four to five alveolar capsules we used an optimal ventilator waveform (OVW) to follow frequency and tidal volume (VT) dependence of lung, airway, and tissue resistance (R) and elastance (E) before and during constant infusion of histamine (16 μg · kg-1 · min- 1). OVW contains sufficient flow energy between 0.234 and 4.7 Hz, avoids nonlinear harmonic interactions, and simultaneously ventilates with physiological VT. Each OVW breath permits a smooth estimate of frequency dependence of R and E for the whole lung. A constant-phase model analysis provided estimates of purely viscous resistance (Rvis), which represents the sum of airway resistance (Raw) and any purely newtonian component of tissue resistance (Rti), and parameters G and H, which govern frequency dependence of Rti and tissue elastance (Eti), respectively. Tissue structural damping (η) is calculated as G/H. This model was applied to the whole lung and tissue impedance as estimated from each capsule. We found a small but inconsequential purely newtonian component of Rti, even during constriction. Four dogs showed a peak response at ~4 min in lung Rvis coupled (in time) to initial increases in G, H, η, and airway inhomogeneities. In two of these dogs the response was severe. Tissue properties estimated from whole lung impedance (G, H, and η) were nearly identical to values estimated from unobstructed capsules throughout infusion. By using a technique independent of alveolar capsules, our results indicate that a major if not dominant response to a constrictive agonist occurs in lung tissues, resulting in a large increase in Rti and Eti. With severe constriction, significant increases occur in Raw and airway inhomogeneities as well. Finally, separation of airway and tissue properties using input impedance estimated from the frequency-rich OVW avoids use of alveolar capsules and may prove an effective tool for partitioning airway and tissue properties in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-385
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1994


  • airway resistance
  • asthma
  • histamine
  • lung mechanics
  • tissue resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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