Effects of body posture and tidal volume on inter- and intraregional ventilation distribution in healthy men

J Appl Physiol (1985). 2002 Feb;92(2):634-42. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00161.2001.


The influences of body posture and tidal volume (VT) on inter- and intraregional ventilation inhomogeneity were assessed by normalized phase III slope (Sn(III)) analysis of multiple-breath washout recordings of SF(6) and He in 11 healthy men. Washouts with target VT of 750, 1,000, and 1,250 ml were performed standing and supine. A linear-fit method was used to establish the contributions of convection-dependent (interregional) (cdi) and diffusion-convection interaction-dependent (intraregional) inhomogeneity (dcdi). Overall inhomogeneity was defined as the sum of cdi and dcdi. The difference in first-breath Sn(III) for SF(6) vs. He, the (SF(6) - He)Sn(III), served as an index of intra-acinar inhomogeneity. Multiple-regression analysis revealed greater cdi supine vs. standing (P < 0.001) but no significant effects of posture on dcdi or overall inhomogeneity. Larger VT were associated with greater cdi (P < 0.001), particularly when supine, but reduced dcdi (P < 0.001), overall inhomogeneity (P < 0.001), and (SF(6) - He)Sn(III) (P = 0.031). In conclusion, during resting breathing overall and intraregional ventilation inhomogeneities remain unchanged when the supine posture is assumed and improve with larger VT, but supine posture and larger breaths result in greater interregional inhomogeneities.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Functional Residual Capacity
  • Helium
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Posture / physiology*
  • Pulmonary Ventilation
  • Respiration
  • Respiratory Physiological Phenomena*
  • Sulfur Hexafluoride
  • Tidal Volume


  • Helium
  • Sulfur Hexafluoride