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Viscoelastic properties of lungs and thoracic wall of anesthetized piglets
An interesting study was performed in six anesthetized mechanically ventilated piglets weighting 30 kg. The viscoelastic properties of lungs and thoracic wall were investigated and serve as a viscoelastic model.

Animals were tracheotomized, anesthetized and mechanically ventilated under controlled conditions.

After control measurements of the mechanical properties of the lung of the pigs had been taken, acute lung injury (ALI) was induced by saline lavage. Lung and thoracic wall tissue resistance (¦¤R), which reflects viscoelastic properties and/or time constant inequalities, were determined by using a rapid airway occlusion technique during constant flow inflation ( ), at constant tidal volume. was varied from 0.1¨C0.2 to 1.2 L second1 on a single breath.

Multiple data sets of ¬¶¬§R of lung (¬¶¬§RL) and thoracic wall (¬¶¬§Rw) to inspiratory time (TI = VT/ ) were fitted to a model whose prediction equation was ¬¶¬§R = R2[1 −exp(−TI/¬¶√ď2)], where R2 and ¬¶√ď2 are the ¬°¬ģviscoelastic¬°¬Į resistance and time constant, respectively.

Subscripts L and W are used to represent lung and theracic wall, respectively (R2L, R2W, ¬¶√ď2L, ¬¶√ď2W).

Two more sets of physiological measurements were then taken ¨C the first under zero end-expiratory pressure (ZEEP) and the second under a positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) of 10 cmH2O.

Results: Data of ¬¶¬§R adequately fitted to the prediction equation in all instances. In control, R2,L was 15.3 (10.7¬®C22.6) cmH2O L1 second1 (median, interquartile range), ¬¶√ď2,L 3.3 (1.9¬®C5.5) seconds, R2,w 6.5 (2.2¬®C10.3) cmH2O L1 second1 and ¬¶√ď2,w 2.9 (1.1¬®C4.3) seconds.

In ALI, R2,L significantly increased to 129.6 (105.9¨C171.3) cmH2O L1 second1 on ZEEP but not significantly decreased to 48.9 (17.8¨C109.6) cmH2O L1 second1 with PEEP.

The corresponding values of ¬¶√ď2,L were 7.1 (5.1¬®C11.6) and 4.4 (3.1¬®C5.5) seconds. The values pertaining to thoracic wall did not change significantly among conditions.

Conclusions and clinical relevance: Viscoelastic properties of the lung and thoracic wall in piglets can be described by a viscoelastic model. Values of parameters of this model were markedly increased in ALI and decreased with PEEP.



Source: Claude Gu¨¦rin, Fr¨¦d¨¦rique Bayle, Sophie Debord, Jean-Charles Poupelin, Michel Badet, St¨¦phane Lemasson, Jean-Christophe Richard (2007): Viscoelastic properties of lungs and thoracic wall of anesthetized mechanically ventilated piglets. In: Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia 34 (5), 331¨C338.



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