(1/2868) Expiratory and inspiratory chest computed tomography and pulmonary function tests in cigarette smokers.

This study evaluated small airway dysfunction and emphysematous destruction of lung parenchyma in cigarette smokers, using chest expiratory high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) and pulmonary function tests (PFT). The degree of emphysematous destruction was classified by visual scoring (VS) and the average HRCT number at full expiration/full inspiration (E/I ratio) calculated in 63 male smokers and 10 male nonsmokers (group A). The Brinkman smoking index (BI), defined as cigarettes x day(-1) x yrs, was estimated. Sixty-three smokers were divided into three groups by PFT: group B1 (n=7), with normal PFT; group B2 (n=21), with diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide (DL,CO) > or = 80% predicted, forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) < 80% pred and/or residual volume (RV) > 120% pred; and group B3 (n=35), with DL,CO < 80% pred, FEV1 < 80% pred and/or RV > 120% pred. Heavy smokers (BI > or = 600) (n=48) showed a significant increase in emphysema by both VS and E/I. E/I was significantly elevated in both group B2 (mean+/-SD 0.95+/-0.05) and B3 (0.96+/-0.06) compared with group B1 (0.89+/-0.03). VS could not differentiate group B2 (3.9+/-5.0) from B1 (1.1+/-1.6). These findings suggest that the expiration/inspiration ratio reflects hyperinflation and airway obstruction, regardless of the functional characteristics of emphysema, in cigarette smokers.  (+info)

(2/2868) Differences in spontaneous breathing pattern and mechanics in patients with severe COPD recovering from acute exacerbation.

The aims of this study were to assess spontaneous breathing patterns in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) recovering from acute exacerbation and to assess the relationship between different breathing patterns and clinical and functional parameters of respiratory impairment. Thirty-four COPD patients underwent assessment of lung function tests, arterial blood gases, haemodynamics, breathing pattern (respiratory frequency (fR), tidal volume (VT), inspiratory and expiratory time (tI and tE), duty cycle (tI/ttot), VT/tI) and mechanics (oesophageal pressure (Poes), work of breathing (WOB), pressure-time product and index, and dynamic intrinsic positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEPi,dyn)). According to the presence (group 1) or absence (group 2) of Poes swings during the expiratory phase (premature inspiration), 20 (59%) patients were included in group 1 and 14 (41%) in group 2. Premature inspirations were observed 4.5+/-6.4 times x min(-1) (range 1-31), i.e. 20+/-21% (3.7-100%) of total fR calculated from VT tracings. In group 1 the coefficient of variation in VT, tE, tI/ttot, PEEPi,dyn, Poes and WOB of the eight consecutive breaths immediately preceding the premature inspiration was greater than that of eight consecutive breaths in group 2. There were no significant differences in the assessed parameters between the two groups in the overall population, whereas patients with chronic hypoxaemia in group 1 showed a more severe impairment in clinical conditions, mechanics and lung function than hypoxaemic patients in group 2. In spontaneously breathing patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease recovering from an acute exacerbation, detectable activity of inspiratory muscles during expiration was found in more than half of the cases. This phenomenon was not associated with any significant differences in anthropometric, demographic, physiological or clinical characteristics.  (+info)

(3/2868) Respiratory muscle involvement in multiple sclerosis.

Respiratory complications are common in the terminal stages of multiple sclerosis and contribute to mortality in these patients. When respiratory motor pathways are involved, respiratory muscle weakness frequently occurs. Although it is well established that weakness of the respiratory muscles produces a restrictive ventilatory defect, the degree of muscle weakness and pulmonary function are poorly related. Respiratory muscle weakness was observed in patients with normal or near normal pulmonary function. Expiratory muscle weakness is more prominent than inspiratory muscle weakness and may impair performance of coughing. Subsequently, in addition to bulbar dysfunction, respiratory muscle weakness may contribute to ineffective coughing, pneumonia, and sometimes even acute ventilatory failure may ensue. Respiratory muscle weakness may also occur early in the course of the disease. Recent studies suggest that the respiratory muscles can be trained for both strength and endurance in multiple sclerosis patients. Whether respiratory muscle training delays the development of respiratory dysfunction and subsequently improves exercise capacity and cough efficacy, prevents pulmonary complications or prolongs survival in the long-term remains to be determined.  (+info)

(4/2868) Stroke volume decline during prolonged exercise is influenced by the increase in heart rate.

This study determined whether the decline in stroke volume (SV) during prolonged exercise is related to an increase in heart rate (HR) and/or an increase in cutaneous blood flow (CBF). Seven active men cycled for 60 min at approximately 57% peak O2 uptake in a neutral environment (i.e., 27 degrees C, <40% relative humidity). They received a placebo control (CON) or a small oral dose (i.e., approximately 7 mg) of the beta1-adrenoceptor blocker atenolol (BB) at the onset of exercise. At 15 min, HR and SV were similar during CON and BB. From 15 to 55 min during CON, a 13% decline in SV was associated with an 11% increase in HR and not with an increase in CBF. CBF increased mainly from 5 to 15 min and remained stable from 20 to 60 min of exercise in both treatments. However, from 15 to 55 min during BB, when the increase in HR was prevented by atenolol, the decline in SV was also prevented, despite a normal CBF response (i.e., similar to CON). Cardiac output was similar in both treatments and stable throughout the exercise bouts. We conclude that during prolonged exercise in a neutral environment the decline in SV is related to the increase in HR and is not affected by CBF.  (+info)

(5/2868) Heart rate during exercise with leg vascular occlusion in spinal cord-injured humans.

Feed-forward and feedback mechanisms are both important for control of the heart rate response to muscular exercise, but their origin and relative importance remain inadequately understood. To evaluate whether humoral mechanisms are of importance, the heart rate response to electrically induced cycling was studied in participants with spinal cord injury (SCI) and compared with that elicited during volitional cycling in able-bodied persons (C). During voluntary exercise at an oxygen uptake of approximately 1 l/min, heart rate increased from 66 +/- 4 to 86 +/- 4 (SE) beats/min in seven C, and during electrically induced exercise at a similar oxygen uptake in SCI it increased from 73 +/- 3 to 110 +/- 8 beats/min. In contrast, blood pressure increased only in C (from 88 +/- 3 to 99 +/- 4 mmHg), confirming that, during exercise, blood pressure control is dominated by peripheral neural feedback mechanisms. With vascular occlusion of the legs, the exercise-induced increase in heart rate was reduced or even eliminated in the electrically stimulated SCI. For C, heart rate tended to be lower than during exercise with free circulation to the legs. Release of the cuff elevated heart rate only in SCI. These data suggest that humoral feedback is of importance for the heart rate response to exercise and especially so when influence from the central nervous system and peripheral neural feedback from the working muscles are impaired or eliminated during electrically induced exercise in individuals with SCI.  (+info)

(6/2868) Breathing responses to small inspiratory threshold loads in humans.

To investiage the effect of inspiratory threshold load (ITL) on breathing, all previous work studied loads that were much greater than would be encountered under pathophysiological conditions. We hypothesized that mild ITL from 2.5 to 20 cmH2O is sufficient to modify control and sensation of breathing. The study was performed in healthy subjects. The results demonstrated that with mild ITL 1) inspiratory difficulty sensation could be perceived at an ITL of 2.5 cmH2O; 2) tidal volume increased without change in breathing frequency, resulting in hyperpnea; and 3) although additional time was required for inspiratory pressure to attain the threshold before inspiratory flow was initiated, the total inspiratory muscle contraction time remained constant. This resulted in shortening of the available time for inspiratory flow, so that the tidal volume was maintained or increased by significant increase in mean inspiratory flow. On the basis of computer simulation, we conclude that the mild ITL is sufficient to increase breathing sensation and alter breathing control, presumably aiming at maintaining a certain level of ventilation but minimizing the energy consumption of the inspiratory muscles.  (+info)

(7/2868) Capsaicin-sensitive C-fiber-mediated protective responses in ozone inhalation in rats.

To assess the role of lung sensory C fibers during and after inhalation of 1 part/million ozone for 8 h, we compared breathing pattern responses and epithelial injury-inflammation-repair in rats depleted of C fibers by systemic administration of capsaicin as neonates and in vehicle-treated control animals. Capsaicin-treated rats did not develop ozone-induced rapid, shallow breathing. Capsaicin-treated rats showed more severe necrosis in the nasal cavity and greater inflammation throughout the respiratory tract than did control rats exposed to ozone. Incorporation of 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (a marker of DNA synthesis associated with proliferation) into terminal bronchiolar epithelial cells was not significantly affected by capsaicin treatment in rats exposed to ozone. However, when normalized to the degree of epithelial necrosis present in each rat studied, there was less 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine labeling in the terminal bronchioles of capsaicin-treated rats. These observations suggest that the ozone-induced release of neuropeptides does not measurably contribute to airway inflammation but may play a role in modulating basal and reparative airway epithelial cell proliferation.  (+info)

(8/2868) Acinar flow irreversibility caused by perturbations in reversible alveolar wall motion.

Mixing associated with "stretch-and-fold" convective flow patterns has recently been demonstrated to play a potentially important role in aerosol transport and deposition deep in the lung (J. P. Butler and A. Tsuda. J. Appl. Physiol. 83: 800-809, 1997), but the origin of this potent mechanism is not well characterized. In this study we hypothesized that even a small degree of asynchrony in otherwise reversible alveolar wall motion is sufficient to cause flow irreversibility and stretch-and-fold convective mixing. We tested this hypothesis using a large-scale acinar model consisting of a T-shaped junction of three short, straight, square ducts. The model was filled with silicone oil, and alveolar wall motion was simulated by pistons in two of the ducts. The pistons were driven to generate a low-Reynolds-number cyclic flow with a small amount of asynchrony in boundary motion adjusted to match the degree of geometric (as distinguished from pressure-volume) hysteresis found in rabbit lungs (H. Miki, J. P. Butler, R. A. Rogers, and J. Lehr. J. Appl. Physiol. 75: 1630-1636, 1993). Tracer dye was introduced into the system, and its motion was monitored. The results showed that even a slight asynchrony in boundary motion leads to flow irreversibility with complicated swirling tracer patterns. Importantly, the kinematic irreversibility resulted in stretching of the tracer with narrowing of the separation between adjacent tracer lines, and when the cycle-by-cycle narrowing of lateral distance reached the slowly growing diffusion distance of the tracer, mixing abruptly took place. This coupling of evolving convective flow patterns with diffusion is the essence of the stretch-and-fold mechanism. We conclude that even a small degree of boundary asynchrony can give rise to stretch-and-fold convective mixing, thereby leading to transport and deposition of fine and ultrafine aerosol particles deep in the lung.  (+info)