PMID: 7204200Feb 1, 1981Paper

Tonic inspiratory muscle activity as a cause of hyperinflation in asthma

Journal of Applied Physiology: Respiratory, Environmental and Exercise Physiology
N L MullerN Zamel


We studied tonic activity of the inspiratory muscles during exacerbation of asthma in five female and two male patients. Exacerbation was provoked by withholding bronchodilatory medication for 12 h prior to the study. Thoracic gas volume (TGV) at the end of resting expiration was determined before and after albuterol (salbutamol) inhalation with a body plethysmograph. Intercostal muscle electromyogram (EMG) was recorded with surface electrodes and diaphragmatic EMG with esophageal electrodes. Tonic activity was defined as electrical activity in the EMG present throughout expiration. After salbutamol the TGV decreased 13.4 +/- 2.9% (mean +/- SE) (P less than 0.01). This decrease in TGV was accompanied by a proportional reduction in tonic intercostal (r = 0.78, P less than 0.05) and diaphragmatic activity (r = 0.84, P less than 0.05). These findings suggest that the hyperinflation present during exacerbation of asthma is at least in part due to active inspiratory muscle activity present throughout expiration.


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Related Concepts

Respiratory Diaphragm
Surface Electromyography
Structure of Intercostal Muscle
Lung Volume Measurements
Muscle Tonus

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