Measurement of pulmonary resistance and dynamic compliance with airway obstruction

J Appl Physiol (1985). 1998 Nov;85(5):1982-8. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1998.85.5.1982.


We compared four algorithms by using least squares regression for determination of pulmonary resistance and dynamic elastance in subjects with emphysema, normal subjects, and subjects with asthma before and after bronchoconstriction. The four methods evaluated include 1) a single resistance and elastance, 2) separate resistances and elastances for each half breath, 3) separate inspiratory and expiratory resistances with a single elastance, and 4) separate inspiratory and expiratory resistances, an expiratory volume interaction term, and a single elastance. All methods gave comparable results in normal and asthmatic subjects. We found expiratory resistance was larger than inspiratory resistance in normal and asthmatic subjects during control conditions, but inspiratory resistance was higher than expiratory resistance in subjects who experienced severe bronchoconstriction in response to methacholine. In subjects who are flow limited, method 2 gives a higher inspiratory resistance than would be computed by assuming that the elastic pressure-volume curve passes through the zero-flow points. Methods 1 and 3 overestimate dynamic elastance and inspiratory resistance. Method 4 appears to identify flow limitation and dynamic hyperinflation and gives a good measure of inspiratory resistance and dynamic elastance.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Airway Obstruction / physiopathology*
  • Airway Resistance / physiology*
  • Algorithms
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Esophagus / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Compliance / physiology*
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Pulmonary Emphysema / physiopathology
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Spirometry