The objective of this investigation was to determine the minimum transpulmonary pressure (PL) at which the forces of interdependence between the airways and the lung parenchyma can prevent airway closure in response to maximal stimulation of the airways in excised canine lobes. We first present an analysis of the relationship between PL and the transmural pressure (Ptm) that airway smooth muscle must generate to close the airways. This analysis predicts that airway closure can occur at PL ≤ 10 cmH2O with maximal airway stimulation. We tested this prediction in eight excised canine lobes by nebulizing 50% methacholine into the airways while the lobe was held at constant PL values ranging from 25 to 5 cmH2O. Airway closure was assessed by comparing changes in alveolar pressure (measured by an alveolar capsule technique) and pressure at the airway opening during low-amplitude oscillations in lobar volume. Airway closure occurred in two of the eight lobes at PL = 10 cmH2O; in an additional five it occurred at PL = 7.5 cmH2O. We conclude that the forces of parenchymal interdependence per se are not sufficient to prevent airway closure at PL ≤ 7.5 cmH2O in excised canine lobes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)