In this study, noninvasive measurements of cardiac output and O2 consumption were performed to estimate the blood flow to and efficiency of the respiratory muscles that are used in elevated inspiratory work loads. Five subjects were studied for 4.5 min at a respiratory rate of 18 breaths/min and a duty cycle of 0.5. Studies were performed at rest without added respiratory loads and at elevated inspiratory work loads with the use of an inspiratory valve that permitted flow only when a threshold pressure was maintained. Cardiac output and O2 consumption were calculated using a rebreathing technique. Respiratory muscle blood flow and O2 consumption were estimated as the difference between resting and loaded breathing. Work of breathing was calculated by integrating the product of mouth pressure and volume. Increases in cardiac output and O2 consumption in response of 4.5 min laoded breathing averaged 1.84 l/min and 108 ml/min, respectively. No increases were seen in response to 20-s loaded breathing. In a separate series of experiments on four subjects, though, cardiac output increased for the first 2 min then leveled off. These results indicate that the increase in cardiac output was a metabolic effect of the increased work load and was not caused primarily by the influence of the highly negative intrathoracic pressure on venous return. Efficiency of the respiratory muscles during inspiratory threshold loading averaged 5.9%, which was similar to measurements of efficiency of respiratory muscles using whole-body O2 consumption that have been reported previously in humans and in dogs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Medicine