Continuous positive airway pressure and expiratory positive airway pressure increase functional residual capacity equivalently

Chest. 1986 Apr;89(4):517-21. doi: 10.1378/chest.89.4.517.


The effect of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and expiratory positive airway pressure (EPAP) on functional residual capacity (FRC) of ten healthy, spontaneously breathing, lightly anesthetized intubated mongrel dogs was studied. The CPAP and EPAP at 5, 10, 15, and 20 cm H2O were alternately applied to all animals. Total (lung and chest wall) compliance, esophageal pressure, airway pressure, transpulmonary pressure, control FRC, and the change in FRC (delta FRC) were measured before and after each application of CPAP and EPAP. Neither expiratory transpulmonary pressure nor delta FRC with CPAP differed significantly from that with EPAP at all levels (p greater than 0.05). These data suggest that CPAP and EPAP, when applied at the same expiratory pressure, result in an equivalent increase in FRC due to passive mechanical distention of the lungs.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dogs
  • Functional Residual Capacity
  • Lung / physiology*
  • Lung Compliance
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration*