Influence of inertance on respiratory mechanics measurements in mechanically ventilated puppies

Celia J. Lanteri, Ferenc Petak, Lyle Gurrin, Peter D. Sly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)


The complete equation of motion for a single compartment model (SCM) includes an inertance term to describe pressure changes in phase with acceleration, as well as terms for resistance and elastance. Inertance has traditionally been excluded from the model when measuring respiratory mechanics at conventional ventilatory frequencies in mature respiratory systems. However, this omission has been questioned recently for measurements of respiratory mechanics in intubated infants where higher ventilation frequencies and smaller tracheal tubes are the norm. We investigated 1) the significance of inertance in an immature respiratory system during mechanical ventilation, and 2) the effect of omitting it from the model on estimates of respiratory mechanics. Six anesthetised, paralysed and mechanically ventilated puppies (2.6-3.9 kg) were studied. A SCM, including an inertance term was fitted to measurements of flow and airway opening (P(AO)) or transpulmonary (P(TP)) pressure using multiple linear regression to estimate respiratory system and lung resistance (R(RS), R(L)), elastance (E(RS), E(L)) and inertance (I(RS), I(L)) respectively, at various ventilation frequencies (0.2-2 Hz). Data obtained at each ventilation frequency were also fitted with a similar model without the inertance term. Inertance contributed significantly to the model at frequencies greater than approximately 0.3-0.5 Hz (20-30 breaths per minute), with I(RS) dominated by the lung. The importance of including the inertance term in the model increased as ventilation frequency increased. Exclusion of inertance from the model led to underestimation of E(RS) and E(L), but no errors in estimates of R(RS) or R(L). The errors increased with ventilation frequency to ~10-20% for E(RS) and ~10-40% for E(L) at 2 Hz. While inertance contributed significantly to the SCM at ventilation frequencies typically required to maintain normal gas exchange in puppies, the errors from excluding this term were small: <3% for E(RS) and <9% for E(L).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-138
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric pulmonology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 1999


  • Elastance
  • Frequency dependence
  • Inertance
  • Mechanics
  • Modeling
  • Pulmonary function
  • Ventilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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