Airways distend with each inspiration, while a sigh or deep inspiration (DI) leads to a significant or a maximum distension of the airways. Distension of the airways is thought to play an important role in maintaining airway patency. Limited distension of the airways with lung inflation may be a major factor in certain lung diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). High resolution computed tomography (HRCT) has gained wide acceptance as a diagnostic and investigational radiological tool for the evaluation of airway function. HRCT has been used to measure dynamic changes in airway caliber in vivo that are not detectable by conventional global lung measurements such as airway and lung resistance. HRCT is uniquely capable of imaging and quantifying airway size at different lung volumes. The current paper reviews the use of HRCT to examine the role of lung inflation on airway distension in animal models, and discusses potential mechanisms for limited distension of the airways with lung inflation in individuals with asthma and COPD.
- Chronic obstructive lung disease
- Deep inspiration
- High resolution computed tomography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Biochemistry, medical
- Pharmacology (medical)