Influence of posture and sustained loss of lung volume on pulmonary function in awake asthmatic subjects

The American Review of Respiratory Disease
R D BallardD P White


Nocturnal worsening occurs commonly in the asthmatic patient population and contributes substantially to the morbidity and even mortality of asthma. However, no physiologic process has yet been identified as the major contributor to this pattern. Sleep is typically associated with both the supine posture and substantial decrements in lung volume, and both have been proposed to have a role in the pattern of nocturnal worsening. To assess the effects of posture and sleep-associated reductions in functional residual capacity on pulmonary function, eight asthmatic patients were first monitored overnight in a horizontal volume-displacement body plethysmograph to determine mean FRC during sleep for each subject. We then compared, during wakefulness, the effects on FEV1 and methacholine responsiveness from chest wall and abdomen strapping (to maintain FRC at mean sleep levels) for 6 h in the supine and upright postures. FEV1 was significantly decreased after strapping in the supine posture (2.54 +/- 0.36 versus 3.38 +/- 0.29 L on control day, p = 0.0001) but was not affected by strapping in the upright posture (3.07 +/- 0.30 versus 3.34 +/- 0.31 L on control day, not significant, NS). Bronchial responsiveness to methacholine was not a...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Forced Expiratory Volume Function
Functional Residual Capacity
Lung Volume Measurements
Expiratory Airflow
Vital Capacity

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