A novel method to assess airway function parameters in chronically instrumented, unrestrained guinea-pigs

Pulm Pharmacol. 1992 Dec;5(4):265-72. doi: 10.1016/0952-0600(92)90069-s.


A new method has been developed to measure airway functions in unanaesthetized, unrestrained guinea-pigs. The technique utilizes a specially designed pneumotachograph that is placed inside the trachea, and a saline-filled balloon, placed inside the pleural cavity. The pneumotachograph consists of a stainless steel cylinder with coaxial and perpendicular tubes attached to it, measuring the total pressure and the lateral pressure in the trachea, respectively. Via air-filled silicon conducting tubes, subcutaneously driven and permanently attached to the neck of the animal, the pressures are fed into a differential pressure transducer, yielding a pressure difference proportional to the airflow in the trachea. Via a saline-filled tubing, the pleural balloon is similarly attached to the neck of the animal, and pleural pressure (Ppl) is measured using a second pressure transducer. These data permit calculation of airway functions in conscious, unstressed animals. Control values for airway resistance (RAW), Ppl, tidal volume and respiratory frequency are all in the range of results reported previously for this species. A very significant correlation between RAW and Ppl (P < 0.001) was observed, indicating that sole Ppl-measurement can be used as a relatively simple and sensitive method to assess bronchial obstructive reactions in unrestrained guinea-pigs. Using a specially designed provocation cage, which allowed the animals to remain in a stress-free, unrestrained condition, the method has been successfully applied for the assessment of the dose-dependent bronchoconstrictor sensitivity to histamine as well as to allergen-induced early and late phase airway reactions.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Airway Resistance
  • Animals
  • Bronchial Provocation Tests / instrumentation*
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Male
  • Pulmonary Ventilation*
  • Transducers