Delayed distension of contracted airways with lung inflation In vivo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A deep inspiratory sigh is one of the most severe dynamic stresses that lungs normally experience. It typically is a very transient phenomenon, normally lasting only about 2 to 3 s. The airway response to a deep inspiration has been shown to be different in asthmatic and normal individuals. When airway smooth muscle (ASM) is contracted in normal subjects, a deep inspiration results in a subsequent dilation of the airways. However, in asthmatic subjects, a deep inspiration often results in little change in airway function, and sometimes results in an even further contraction of ASM. The mechanism underlying this difference depends on the dynamic behavior of both ASM and the lung parenchyma. If the contracted muscle had slower dynamic responses than the lung parenchyma, the timing of the deep inspiratory maneuver could affect the airway response. In the present study, we designed an experiment to determine how well matched the dynamic response is of airways to that of the lung parenchyma. The results clearly demonstrate that airways contracted with methacholine dilate at about a rate four times slower than that of the lung parenchyma during rapid lung inflation and deflation. This effect may play a role in the unique response of asthmatic subjects to deep inspiration. The mechanism of this dynamic slowness of contracted airways probably involves intrinsic properties of the smooth-muscle contractile processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2113-2116
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Delayed distension of contracted airways with lung inflation In vivo'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this