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Diffusivity dependence of multiple-breath washouts of lung periphery



Diffusivity dependence of multiple-breath washouts of lung periphery



Journal of Applied Physiology 68(1): 76-83



Subpleural concentrations of He and SF6 were measured during multiple-breath washouts from isolated dog lungs. Tidal volume, inspiratory flow, and frequency were in the normal range of canine ventilation. For each gas, there was a local minimum in concentration during inspiration (Cinsp) and a local maximum in concentration during exhalation (Cexp). SF6 exhibited a deeper inspiratory trough than He for each breath of every washout. For large tidal volumes (10-20 ml/kg), Cexp approximated a single exponential decay and He was cleared more rapidly than SF6. For small tidal volumes (2.5 ml/kg), Cexp was multiexponential and SF6 was cleared more rapidly than He. Cinsp/Cexp (a measure of the depth of the inspiratory trough) and the kinetics of Cexp decay were determined for washouts using a tidal volume of 10 and 20 ml/kg and different inspiratory flows. Under all conditions, an increase of inspiratory flow resulted in a deeper inspiratory trough for both He and SF6. For washouts using 10 ml/kg and 60 breaths/min, an increase of inspiratory flow increased the clearance of both gases. In washouts using lower ventilatory frequencies, gas clearance was independent of inspiratory flow. These findings are contrary to predictions of contemporary models of convection and diffusion in the lung. This study suggests that convective axial mixing and radial diffusion in the airways are important determinants of pulmonary gas transport.

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Accession: 039831959

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 2312491

DOI: 10.1152/jappl.1990.68.1.76


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