Partitioning of pulmonary resistance in dogs: Effect of tidal volume and frequency

V. Brusasco, D. O. Warner, K. C. Beck, J. R. Rodarte, K. Rehder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


To determine the sensitivity of pulmonary resistance (RL) to changes in breathing frequency and tidal volume, we measured RL in intact anesthetized dogs over a range of breathing frequencies and tidal volume centering around those encountered during quiet breathing. To investigate mechanisms responsible for changes in RL, the relative contribution of airway resistance (Raw) and tissue resistance (Rti) to RL at similar breathing frequencies and tidal volumes was studied in six excised, exsanguinated canine left lungs. Lung volume was sinusoidally varied, with tidal volumes of 10, 20, and 40% of vital capacity. Pressures were measured at three alveolar sites (PA) with alveolar capsules and at the airway opening (PaO). Measurements were made during oscillation at five frequencies between 5 and 45 min-1 at each tidal volume. Resistances were calculated by assuming a linear equation of motion and submitting lung volume, flow, PaO, and PA to a multiple linear regression. RL decreased with increasing frequency and decreased with increasing tidal volume in both isolated and intact lungs. In isolated lungs, Rti decreased with increasing frequency but was independent of tidal volume. Raw was independent of frequency but decreased with tidal volume. The contribution of Rti to RL ranged from 93 ± 4% (SD) with low frequency and large tidal volume to 41 ± 24% at high frequency and small tidal volume. We conclude that the RL is highly dependent on breathing frequency and less dependent on tidal volume during conditions similar to quiet breathing and that these findings are explained by changes in the relative contributions of Raw and Rti to RL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1190-1196
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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