Lung and chest wall mechanics in mechanically ventilated COPD patients

J Appl Physiol (1985). 1993 Apr;74(4):1570-80. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1993.74.4.1570.


By use of the technique of rapid airway occlusion, the effects of inspiratory flow, volume, and time on lung and chest wall mechanics were investigated in 10 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients mechanically ventilated for acute respiratory failure. We measured the interrupter resistance (Rint), which in humans reflects airway resistance; the additional resistances due to time constant inequality and viscoelastic pressure dissipations within the lungs (delta RL) and the chest wall; and the static and dynamic elastances of lung and chest wall. We observed that 1) static elastances of lung and chest wall in COPD patients were similar to those of normal subjects; 2) Rint of the lung was markedly increased and flow dependent in COPD patients, whereas Rint of the chest wall was negligible as in normal subjects; and 3) in COPD patients, delta RL was markedly increased at all inflation flows and volumes, reflecting increased time constant inequalities within the lungs and/or altered viscoelastic behavior. The results imply increased dynamic work due to Rint and delta RL and marked time dependency of pulmonary resistance and elastance in COPD patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Airway Resistance / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lung / physiopathology
  • Lung Compliance / physiology
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / physiopathology*
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / therapy
  • Male
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Respiratory Mechanics / physiology*
  • Thorax / physiopathology
  • Work of Breathing / physiology