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Sleep. 2003 Nov 1;26(7):851-6.

The influence of lung volume on pharyngeal mechanics, collapsibility, and genioglossus muscle activation during sleep.

Author information

1
Pulmonary/Critical Care Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass, USA. mstanchina@lifespan.org

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVES:

Previous studies in both awake and sleeping humans have demonstrated that lung-volume changes substantially affect upper-airway size and pharyngeal resistance and, thus, may influence pharyngeal patency. We sought to systematically investigate the isolated effects of lung-volume changes on pharyngeal collapsibility and mechanics and genioglossus muscle activation during stable non-rapid eye movement sleep. We hypothesized that lower lung volumes would lead to increased pharyngeal collapsibility, airflow resistance, and, in compensation, augmented genioglossus muscle activation.

DESIGN:

Nineteen normal individuals (age, 30.4 +/- 0.5 years; body mass index: 24.5 +/- 0.4 kg/m2) were studied during stable non-rapid eye movement sleep in a rigid head-out shell equipped with a variable positive/negative pressure attachment for manipulations of extrathoracic pressure and, thus, lung volume.

SETTING:

Sleep physiology laboratory.

PARTICIPANTS:

Normal healthy volunteers.

INTERVENTIONS:

N/A.

MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS:

We measured change in end-expiratory lung volume (EELV) (magnetometers), genioglossus electromyogram (GGEMG) (intramuscular electrodes), pharyngeal pressure, and collapsibility of the pharynx in response to a brief pulse of negative pressure (-8 to -15 cm H2O) under the following conditions: (1) baseline, (2) increased EELV (+1 liter), and (3) decreased EELV (-0.6 liter). Reduced lung volumes led to increased inspiratory airflow resistance (7.54 +/- 2.80 cm H2O x L(-1) x s(-1) vs 4.53 +/- 1.05 cm H2O x L(-1) x s(-1), mean +/- SEM, P = 0.02) and increased genioglossus muscle activation (GGEMG peak 14.6% +/- 1.5% of maximum vs 8.6% +/- 1.5% of maximum, maximum P = 0.001) compared to baseline. The pharynx was also more collapsible at low lung volumes (4.3 +/- 0.5 cm H2O vs 5.4 +/- 0.6 cm H2O, P = 0.04).

CONCLUSIONS:

We conclude that upper-airway muscles respond to changes in lung volumes but not adequately to prevent increased collapsibility. These results suggest that lung volume has an important influence on pharyngeal patency during non-rapid eye movement sleep in normal individuals.

PMID:
14655919
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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