Thoracic gas compression during forced expiration is greater in men than women

  • Elizabeth A. Gideon (Contributor)
  • Troy J. Cross (Contributor)
  • Brooke E. Cayo (Contributor)
  • Aaron W. Betts (Contributor)
  • Dallin S. Merrell (Contributor)
  • Catherine L. Coriell (Contributor)
  • Lauren E. Hays (Contributor)
  • Jj Duke (Contributor)



Intrapleural pressure during a forced vital capacity (VC) manoeuvre is often in excess of that required to generate maximal expiratory airflow. This excess pressure compresses alveolar gas (i.e., thoracic gas compression; TGC), resulting in underestimated forced expiratory flows (FEFs) at a given lung volume. It is unknown if TGC is influenced by sex; however, because men have larger lungs and stronger respiratory muscles, we hypothesized that men would have greater TGC. We examined TGC across the "effort-dependent" region of VC in healthy young men (n=11) and women (n=12). Subjects performed VC manoeuvres at varying efforts while airflow, volume, and oesophageal pressure (POES) were measured. Quasi-static expiratory deflation curves were used to obtain lung recoil (PLUNG) and alveolar pressures (i.e., PALV=POES–PLUNG). The raw maximal expiratory flow-volume (MEFVraw) curve was obtained from the "maximum effort" VC manoeuvre. The TGC-corrected curve was obtained by constructing a "maximal perimeter" curve from all VC efforts (MEFVcorr). TGC was examined via differences between curves in FEFs (∆FEF), area under the expiratory curves (∆AEX), and estimated compressed gas volume (∆VGC) across the VC range. Men displayed greater total ∆AEX (5.4±2.0 vs. 2.0±1.5 L2∙s-1; p
Date made availableMar 26 2020

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