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Pediatr Pulmonol. 2008 Aug;43(8):767-71. doi: 10.1002/ppul.20855.

Hering-Breuer reflex, lung volume and position in prematurely born infants.

Author information

  • 1King's College London, MRC Asthma Centre, Division of Asthma, Allergy and Lung Biology, Brunel University, London, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To investigate the effect of position on the strength of the Hering-Breuer reflex in prematurely born infants and determine whether any differences seen were related to differences in lung or tidal volume between positions.

WORKING HYPOTHESIS:

Position related differences in the strength of the Hering-Breuer reflex relate to differences in lung or tidal volume.

STUDY DESIGN:

Prospective observational study. PATIENT/SUBJECT SELECTION: Eighteen infants, median gestational age 30 (range 25-32) weeks were studied.

METHODOLOGY:

Infants were examined in the supine and prone position, each position was maintained for 2 hr. At the end of each 2-hr period, the strength of the Hering-Breuer reflex was assessed by determining the prolongation of expiration following an end inspiratory occlusion. In addition, tidal volume and functional residual capacity (FRC) were assessed in each position.

RESULTS:

The strength of the Hering-Breuer reflex was greater (P = 0.01) and the mean FRC was higher (P < 0.0001) in the prone compared to the supine position. The position related differences in the strength of the reflex correlated significantly with position related differences in FRC (P = 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:

The Hering-Breuer reflex is stronger in the prone compared to the supine position. Our results suggest this is explained by position related differences in lung volume.

(c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

PMID:
18618620
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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