Respiratory system mechanical behavior in the chicken

G. M. Barnas, S. C. Hempleman, P. Harinath, J. W. Baptise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We evaluated whether the avain respiratory system displays the same fundamental mechanical behavior during external forcing as found in mammals. We measured airway flow and pressures in the trachea, air sacs and thoracoabdominal cavity in 4 anesthetized-paralyzed roosters during sinusoidal volume oscillations at the trachea in the normal range of euthermic breathing frequency, f(0.2 to 1.0 Hz), and tidal volume, Vt (10-50 ml). From the pressure and flow waveforms, we calculated resistance (R) and elastance (E) of the total respiratory system and its major compartments (lungs, air sacs and chest wall). E of the chest wall was minimum (147 cmH2O·L-1 ± 7 SE) at 0.2 Hz-50 ml and was consistently, slightly lower than E of the total respiratory system over the entire range studied. Both elastances showed the same dependence on f and Vt, increasing slightly with increasing f and decreasing with increasing Vt. R of the chest wall was maximum (35.6 cmH2O·L-1·sec-1 ± 2.2 SE) at 0.2 Hz-10 ml and decreased with increasing f and Vt, although the Vt effect diminished at the higher f. E and R of the air sacs were much smaller than those of the chest wall, but showed similar f and Vt dependencies. R of the lungs, due to resistance of the airways, was minimum (6.8 cmH2O·L-1·sec-1 ± 1.5 SE) at 0.2 Hz-10 ml and increased with both f and Vt. Total respiratory R reflected R of the air sacs and chest wall at low f and R of the lungs at high f. The f and Vt dependencies of E and R in the chicken were strikingly similar to those measured in various types of mammalian respiratory tissues (Stamenović et al. (1990) J. Appl. Physiol. 69:973-988. We conclude that, despite important anatomical differences between species, avian and mammalian respiratory tissues exhibit fundamentally similar mechanical behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-157
Number of pages13
JournalRespiration Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1991


  • Animal, bird, chicken
  • Compliance, of respiratory system in birds
  • Mechanics of breathing, in chicken
  • Resistance, of respiratory system in birds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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