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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effect of global inspiratory muscle fatigue on ventilatory and respiratory muscle responses to CO2.

We evaluated the effect of global inspiratory muscle fatigue on ventilation and respiratory muscle control during CO2 rebreathing in normal subjects. Fatigue was induced by breathing against a high inspiratory resistance until exhaustion. CO2 response curves were measured before and after fatigue. During CO2 rebreathing, global fatigue caused a decreased tidal volume (VT) and an increased breathing frequency but did not change minute ventilation, duty cycle, or mean inspiratory flow. Both esophageal and transdiaphragmatic pressure swings were significantly reduced after global fatigue, suggesting decreased contribution of both rib cage muscles and diaphragm to breathing. End-expiratory transpulmonary pressure for a given CO2 was lower after fatigue, indicating an additional decrease in end-expiratory lung volume due to expiratory muscle recruitment, which leads to a greater initial portion of inspiration being passive. This, combined with the reduction in VT, decreased the fraction of VT attributable to inspiratory muscle contribution; therefore the inspiratory muscle elastic work and power per breath were significantly reduced. We conclude that respiratory control mechanisms are plastic and that the respiratory centers alter their output in a manner appropriate to the contractile state of the respiratory muscles to conserve the ventilatory response to CO2.[1]


  1. Effect of global inspiratory muscle fatigue on ventilatory and respiratory muscle responses to CO2. Yan, S., Sliwinski, P., Gauthier, A.P., Lichros, I., Zakynthinos, S., Macklem, P.T. J. Appl. Physiol. (1993) [Pubmed]
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