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Medicina (B Aires). 2012;72(2):98-102.

[Study of diaphragmatic muscle function during abdominal weight in normal subjects].

[Article in Spanish]

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Instituto de Investigaciones Médicas Alfredo Lanari, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina.


The effects of the abdominal weight with the intention of producing training of the diaphragm, have not been sufficiently evaluated. We studied the function of the diaphragm during the abdominal weight training and during associated changes in the respiratory pattern. Six normal volunteers were studied. Flow at the mouth at functional residual capacity (FRC) was obtained as well as gastric pressure (Pga), esophageal pressure (Pes), thoracic and abdominal movements, maximal inspiratory pressure and mean and maximal transdiaphragmatic pressure (Pdi and Pdi max). Pdi/Pdimax and the diaphragm tension-time index (TTdi) were calculated. Studied steps: normal pattern (NP), abdominal pattern (AP) and weight of 1, 2, 4 and 6 kg with NP and AP as well. We found 1) The AP was facilitated by the abdominal weight, 2) Only with 6 kg (NP and AP) the Pga at FRC increased significantly (p 0.001), 3) the Pdi followed the variations of the Pga and increased with all the AP (p < 0.001), 4) The index TTdi load reached a value of 0.05 ± 0.02 (p < 0.001). The charges did not increase this rate more than did the AP alone. Our findings suggest abdominal weight increases propioception related to the respiratory movements and descent of the diaphragm. The loads on the abdomen produce minor changes in mechanics of the diaphragm (1/3 of the load required to develop fatigue in normal subjects). Al least in normal subjects these changes appear to be insufficient to produce respiratory muscle training.

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