We have previously demonstrated appreciable inhomogeneity of alveolar pressures measured by a capsule technique in excised canine lobes deflated at submaximal flows (J. Appl. Physiol. 65: 1757-1765, 1988). We further analyzed the results of these experiments by estimating alveolar volumes (VA) and regional flows from regional transpulmonary pressures, assuming that regional pressure-volume relationships were homogeneous. Deflation at submaximal flows of lungs suspended in air caused significant flow-dependent inhomogeneity of VA that increased as lung volume decreased. Immersion of lungs in stable foams that simulated the gradient of pleural pressure modified the pattern of emptying, but not always to a gravity-dependent sequence. Limitation of regional expiratory flow was often asynchronous during both air suspension and foam immersion. There was no evidence of a common regional flow-volume curve. Submaximal deflation is a complex heterogeneous process, with the interregional pattern of emptying determined by the interaction of factors that are both intrinsic and extrinsic to the lungs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)