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Chest. 1998 Jun;113(6):1667-72.

Respiratory mechanics after prosthetic reconstruction of the chest wall in normal rats.

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Laboratory of Respiration Physiology, Carlos Chagas Filho Biophysics Institute, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.



Prosthetic reconstruction of the chest wall may yield several respiratory changes. Nevertheless, to our knowledge, no comprehensive analysis of respiratory mechanics under this condition has been hitherto performed.


Respiratory mechanics were evaluated in two groups of rats. In one group (n=8), a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) patch was used; in another group (n=8), a polypropylene mesh (Marlex) associated with methylmethacrylate (PPMM) was employed. All animals were sedated, anesthetized, paralyzed, and mechanically ventilated before and after the prosthetic reconstruction of the chest wall. After airway occlusion at end inspiration, respiratory system, pulmonary, and chest wall resistive pressures (deltaP1rs, deltaP1L, and deltaP1cw, respectively) and viscoelastic/inhomogeneous pressures (deltaP2rs, deltaP2L, and deltaP2cw, respectively) were determined. Respiratory system, lung, and chest wall static (Est(rs), EstL, and Est(cw), respectively), and dynamic elastances (Edyn(rs), EdynL, and Edyn(cw), respectively), and the corresponding delta elastances (deltaE, calculated as Edyn-Est) were also obtained.


In both groups, significant increases in deltaP2rs, deltaP2cw, deltaErs, deltaEcw, Est(rs), EstL, and Est(cw) were observed after chest wall reconstruction. However, deltaP2rs, deltaP2cw, deltaErs, deltaEcw, Est(rs), and EstL were significantly higher in the PPMM group than in the PTFE group.


Prosthetic reconstruction of the chest wall yields not only elastic changes, but also there is also an important increase of pressure dissipated against viscoelastic/inhomogeneous segments of the chest wall. Furthermore, taking into account respiratory mechanics, the PTFE patch might be preferred to the PPMM patch.

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