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Am Rev Respir Dis. 1981 Sep;124(3):215-7.

Diaphragmatic and genioglossal electromyogram responses to isocapnic hypoxia in humans.


In order to define the relationship between central control of upper airway and respiratory muscle function, diaphragmatic electromyogram (EMGdi) and genioglossal EMG (EMGge) responses to isocapnic hypoxia were studied in 6 awake supine volunteers. Both EMGs were processed and quantitated as moving time average activity. In all subjects, EMGge showed phasic inspiratory activity synchronous with EMGdi. Increases seen in EMGdi and EMGge were linearly related to the decrease in oxygen saturation (r = 0.89 +/- 0.08 and 0.89 +/- 0.08, respectively). There was also a linear relationship between the relative responses of both EMGs to hypoxia such that a low EMGdi response was associated with a low EMGge response and vice versa (r = 0.92, p less than 0.001). These results indicated that the genioglossus muscle behaves like a respiratory muscle and suggested that central control of upper airway and respiratory muscles in humans are intimately related.

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