PMID: 8738903Mar 1, 1996Paper

Differing patterns of mechanical response to direct fetal hormone treatment

Respiration Physiology
K E WilletP D Sly


A single combined intramuscular dose of betamethasone and l-thyroxine (T4) or placebo was injected into the shoulder of fetal lambs 48 hours prior to delivery at days 121 (n = 14), 128 (n = 25) or 135 (n = 20) of gestation. Respiratory mechanics were calculated using multiple linear regression analysis. Both respiratory system resistance (RRS) and elastance (ERS) decreased approximately 4 fold between gestational days 121 (D121) and 135 (D135). Both variables were also reduced by hormone treatment. Reduction in ERS was due to a reduction in both lung (EL) and chest wall (EW) components. In absolute terms EW decreased with gestational age; however, EW as a proportion of total elastance (% EW) increased. Inclusion of a volume-dependent elastance term in the multiple linear regression model enabled us to separate total elastance into volume-independent (E1) and volume-dependent (E2V) components. E1 decreased almost 8-fold compared with only a 2.5-fold fall in E2V between D121 and D135. %E2, the proportion of ERS which is volume-dependent and which provides an index of overventilation, doubled over this time period. Hormone treatment affected E1 and E2V components equally hence %E2 was not altered. Both excised lung volume and end ...Continue Reading


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