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Am Rev Respir Dis. 1991 Aug;144(2):384-9.

Flow resistance in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in acute respiratory failure. Effects of flow and volume.

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Respiratory Division, Hôpital Saint-Luc, Université de Montréal, Quebec, Canada.


The flow and volume dependence of the total resistance of the respiratory system (Rrs) was investigated in six mechanically ventilated patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) using a simple, rapid method. Isovolume Rrs-flow (V) relationships obtained at different inflation volumes (range 0.1 to 1 L) fitted (p less than 0.001) the following function: Rrs = a/V + b + cV, where a, b, and c are constants. The term "a/V" in this equation represents the hyperbolic decrease in thoracic tissue resistance with increasing flow; the term "cV" represents the linear increase in airway resistance with increasing flow. Rrs initially decreased with increasing V because at low flow the weight of the a/V was greater than that of the cV. At higher flow, however, cV became predominant and hence Rrs tended to increase. At an inflation volume of 0.5 L, minimum Rrs occurred at average inflation flow of 1.28 L/s. At low flow, Rrs increased progressively with increasing inflation volume; at inflation V greater than 1 L/s, the highest values of Rrs were obtained at low inflation volumes. The flow and volume dependence of Rrs implies that, for comparative purposes, measurements of Rrs should be standardized to a fixed inflation flow and volume.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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