Effects of lung volume, volume history, and methacholine on lung tissue viscance

J Appl Physiol (1985). 1989 Feb;66(2):977-82. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1989.66.2.977.


We examined the effects of lung volume change and volume history on lung resistance (RL) and its components before and during induced constriction. Eleven subjects, including three current and four former asthmatics, were studied. RL, airway resistance (Raw), and, by subtraction, tissue viscance (Vtis) were measured at different lung volumes before and after a deep inhalation and were repeated after methacholine (MCh) aerosols up to maximal levels of constriction. Vtis, which average 9% of RL at base line, was unchanged by MCh and was not changed after deep inhalation but increased directly with lung volume. MCh aerosols induced constriction by increasing Raw, which was reversed by deep inhalation in inverse proportion to responsiveness. such that the more responsive subjects reversed less after a deep breath. Responsiveness correlated directly with the degree of maximal constriction, as more responsive subjects constricted to a greater degree. These results indicate that in humans Vtis comprises a small fraction of overall RL, which is clearly volume-dependent but unchanged by MCh-induced constriction and unrelated to the degree of responsiveness of the subject.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Airway Resistance / drug effects
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / drug effects
  • Lung / physiology*
  • Lung Volume Measurements
  • Male
  • Methacholine Chloride
  • Methacholine Compounds / administration & dosage
  • Methacholine Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Middle Aged


  • Methacholine Compounds
  • Methacholine Chloride