Airway response to deep inspiration: Role of nitric oxide

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Deep inspirations (DI) have been shown to have both bronchoprotective and bronchodilator effects in healthy subjects. The bronchodilator effects of a DI appear to be impaired in asthmatics compared with healthy subjects. This study investigated the role of nitric oxide (NO) in the bronchodilator role of a DI. In five anaesthetised and ventilated dogs, high-resolution computed tomography was used to measure the changes in airway size after a small (25 cmH2O) and large (45 cmH2O) DI before and after administering NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester to block NO synthesis. The depth of the inspiratory manoeuvre during a deep inspiration determined the subsequent qualitative behaviour of the airway response. Inflation to relatively high pressure resulted in airway dilation, whereas one to lower pressure leads to airway constriction. When NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester was administered, both a large and a small deep inspiration resulted in subsequent airway constriction. These results support the idea that nitric oxide may be a potential bronchoprotective agent in the airways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-61
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2003


  • Airways
  • Asthma
  • Bronchoconstriction
  • Bronchodilation
  • High-resolution computed tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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