Activation of human respiratory muscles during different voluntary manoeuvres

The Journal of Physiology
S C GandeviaB L Plassman


1. This study used three techniques (bilateral phrenic nerve stimulation, motor cortex stimulation and quantitative electromyography) to assess the degree of activation of the diaphragm, intercostal-accessory muscles and abdominal muscles during postural tasks and respiratory manoeuvres. They included maximal inspiratory and expulsive efforts. 2. Bilateral phrenic nerve stimuli at supramaximal levels produced an average change in transdiaphragmatic pressure (Pdi) of 28 cmH2O during relaxation. During maximal inspiratory or expulsive efforts, all subjects were able to activate the diaphragm fully at functional residual capacity as judged by the failure of stimuli delivered during the voluntary efforts to increase Pdi. Peak voluntary Pdi was about 30% less for inspiratory than expulsive manoeuvres. 3. By contrast, transcranial activation of motor cortical output to the diaphragm and abdominal muscles produced an increment in abdominal pressure of 25 +/- 7 cmH2O during maximal voluntary expulsive efforts. Given the lack of response to phrenic nerve stimulation at similar voluntary pressures, this suggests that abdominal muscles, and not the diaphragm, fail to generate their full contractile force during maximal voluntary expulsive...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Respiratory Diaphragm
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