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Pediatr Pulmonol. 1991;11(3):217-22.

Influence of sedation on the Hering-Breuer inflation reflex in healthy infants.

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Respiratory and Anaesthetic Unit, Institute of Child Health, London, England.


The airway occlusion technique for measuring passive respiratory mechanics in infants relies on an ability to evoke the Hering-Breuer inflation reflex (HBR). However, the persistence of this reflex beyond the early newborn period remains controversial. We have recently demonstrated that there is no change in the strength of this reflex during the first two months of life in healthy infants during natural sleep. Measurements beyond this immediate newborn period are difficult without sedation, but it is unclear whether sedation itself may influence this reflex. To investigate the influence of sedation, the HBR was measured in 66 healthy, full-term infants aged 4-8 weeks. Thirty-three infants were measured during natural sleep, and 33 after triclofos sodium sedation (75 The strength of the HBR was assessed from the change in expiratory time (TE) following brief end-inspiratory airway occlusion, as compared to TE during spontaneous breathing. The mean increase in TE following occlusion was 89.45% (SD, 29.8; range, 44-175) in infants sleeping naturally, and 92.42% (SD, 31.2; range, 34-179) in sedated infants. Using unpaired t tests, no statistically significant difference was found between groups (P = 0.7516). We conclude that the strength of the HBR in healthy infants is not influenced by sedation with triclofos sodium, in doses normally used for lung function testing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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