Effect of deep inspiration avoidance on ventilation heterogeneity and airway responsiveness in healthy adults

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Journal Article
Journal of Applied Physiology, 2011, 110 (5), pp. 1400 - 1405
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The mechanisms by which deep inspiration (DI) avoidance increases airway responsiveness in healthy subjects are not known. DI avoidance does not alter respiratory mechanics directly; however, computational modeling has predicted that DI avoidance would increase baseline ventilation heterogeneity. The aim was to determine if DI avoidance increased baseline ventilation heterogeneity and whether this correlated with the increase in airway responsiveness. Twelve healthy subjects had ventilation heterogeneity measured by multiplebreath nitrogen washout (MBNW) before and after 20 min of DI avoidance. This was followed by another 20-min period of DI avoidance before the inhalation of a single methacholine dose. The protocol was repeated on a separate day with the addition of five DIs at the end of each of the two periods of DI avoidance. Baseline ventilation heterogeneity in convection-dependent and diffusion-convectiondependent airways was calculated from MBNW. The response to methacholine was measured by the percent fall in forced expiratory volume in 1 s/forced vital capacity (FVC) (airway narrowing) and percent fall in FVC (airway closure). DI avoidance increased baseline diffusion-convection-dependent airways (P = 0.02) but did not affect convection-dependent airways (P = 0.9). DI avoidance increased both airway closure (P = 0.002) and airway narrowing (P = 0.02) during bronchial challenge. The increase in diffusion-convection-dependent airways due to DI avoidance did not correlate with the increase in either airway narrowing (rs = 0.14) or airway closure (rs = 0.12). These findings suggest that DI avoidance increases diffusionconvection- dependent ventilation heterogeneity that is not associated with the increase in airway responsiveness. We speculate that DI avoidance reduces surfactant release, which increases peripheral ventilation heterogeneity and also predisposes to peripheral airway closure. © 2011 the American Physiological Society.
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