Mean airway pressure and alveolar pressure during high-frequency ventilation

B. A. Simon, G. G. Weinmann, W. Mitzner

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Studies and applications of high-frequency ventilation (HFV) are often performed under conditions of controlled mean airway pressure (P̄aw). In the present study we tested the assumption that controlling P̄aw adequately controls lung volume during HFV by investigating the relationship between a reliably measured HFV of healthy dogs. We minimized the errors of P̄aw measurement due to the Bernoulli effect and various technical factors by appropriate choice of transducers, amplifiers, and measurement site. P̄alv was estimated by clamping the ventilator tube during oscillation and measuring the equilibration pressure of the lung and airways. P̄aw and P̄alv were determined as functions of frequency (8-25 Hz), tidal volume (60-90 ml), P̄aw (-5 to 12 cmH2O), and position of the animal (supine vs. lateral). We found that P̄aw could significantly underestimate P̄alv and that the degree of underestimation increased at higher frequencies, larger tidal volumes, and lower P̄aw. Shifting the animal from the supine to the lateral position greatly accentuated this effect. The elevation of P̄alv above P̄aw was seen to be a function of mean flow and largely independent of the frequency-tidal volume combination which produced the flow. A possible explanation of this pressure difference is that it results from differences in inspiratory and expiratory airway impedances, which in turn depend on airway geometry, compliance, lung volume, and expiratory flow limitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1069-1078
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology Respiratory Environmental and Exercise Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology

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