The effect of posture and abdominal binding on respiratory pressures

Eur Respir J. 1989 Nov;2(10):961-5.


We examined the effect of posture on the generation of respiratory pressures in 6 highly trained subjects. Transdiaphragmatic pressure was measured at FRC during bilateral percutaneous phrenic nerve stimulation (twitch Pdi) and maximal sniffs (sniff Pdi), with the abdomen bound and unbound. Maximum static inspiratory (PImax) and expiratory (PEmax) mouth pressures were measured with the abdomen unbound. Three postures were examined: seated (Se), semi-supine (30s), and supine (Su). Changes of posture did not significantly alter twitch Pdi. By contrast, sniff Pdi and static mouth pressures were significantly reduced in the Su posture. Abdominal binding significantly increased twitch Pdi only. We conclude that voluntary respiratory manoeuvres requiring activation, recruitment and coordination of different muscle groups are performed better in the Se position. We suggest that posture be standardised for serial comparative measurements of voluntary respiratory pressures in a given subject.

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen
  • Adult
  • Constriction
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phrenic Nerve / physiology
  • Posture / physiology*
  • Pressure
  • Respiration / physiology*
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Respiratory Muscles / physiology*