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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2000 Jun;88(6):2081-7.

Thoracoabdominal asynchrony failed to grade airway obstructions in foals.

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Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, North Grafton, MA 01536, USA.


Respiratory inductive plethysmography (RIP) can be used to obtain a valid measure of tidal volume in humans. This device also compares the contributions to ventilation of the thorax and abdomen. Although thoracoabdominal asynchrony is a prominent clinical feature for patients with airway obstruction, the accuracy of the RIP device to assess the severity of obstruction is unclear. This study analyzes how well RIP variables reflect the degree of a fixed external inspiratory plus expiratory resistive load in foals. Foals were employed because the species and age group are commonly afflicted with respiratory disease. Eight conscious, sedated (xylazine 1.25 mg/kg body wt) foals were subjected to randomly ordered resistive loads at the airway opening and, on a separate day, to histamine aerosol challenge. During resistive loading, phase angle changed significantly, as did phase relation (P < or = 0.05). However, no significant correlation was found between the degree of change in resistive load and the degree to which phase angle or relation was altered (r(s) = 0.41 and 0.25, respectively). In addition, neither phase angle nor relation changed significantly with histamine challenge. We conclude that, although RIP variables changed markedly with fixed upper airway resistive loading, the degree to which they changed was erratic and therefore not useful for grading these obstructions. Furthermore, RIP variables were insensitive measures of histamine-induced bronchoconstriction.

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