ABSTRACT: We wished to quantify, in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), the activity of the respiratory muscles in relation to upper airway occlusion and patency in sleep. We hypothesized that particular levels of neuromuscular activation are directly associated with upper airway patency. 21 patients with previously diagnosed OSA and 21 healthy control subjects underwent respiratory muscle testing and polysomnography. Neural respiratory drive, as measured by the electromyogram of the diaphragm (EMG(di)) was elevated in the obese OSA patients, awake and supine (13.1(5.6)%max), compared to normal subjects (mean (SD) 8.1(2.3)%max, p<0.01). During unobstructed breathing in sleep (stage N2) normal subjects had an EMG(di) of 7.7(3.9) compared to 22.8(19.2)%max in the OSA group (p<0.001). Prior to airway occlusion, EMG(submandibular) and EMG(di) dropped markedly, and then, following occlusion, increased progressively to their highest levels at airflow onset. Patients with OSA require specific and increased levels of neural respiratory drive to sustain ventilation in sleep.
Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology 04/2010; 171(1):54-60. · 2.24 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Respiratory muscle weakness is an important clinical problem. Tests of varying complexity and invasiveness are available to assess respiratory muscle strength. The relative precision of different tests in the detection of weakness is less clear, as is the value of multiple tests.
The respiratory muscle function tests of clinical referrals who had multiple tests assessed in our laboratories over a 6-year period were analysed. Thresholds for weakness for each test were determined from published and in-house laboratory data. The patients were divided into three groups: those who had all relevant measurements of global inspiratory muscle strength (group A, n = 182), those with full assessment of diaphragm strength (group B, n = 264) and those for whom expiratory muscle strength was fully evaluated (group C, n = 60). The diagnostic outcome of each inspiratory, diaphragm and expiratory muscle test, both singly and in combination, was studied and the impact of using more than one test to detect weakness was calculated.
The clinical referrals were primarily for the evaluation of neuromuscular diseases and dyspnoea of unknown cause. A low maximal inspiratory mouth pressure (Pimax) was recorded in 40.1% of referrals in group A, while a low sniff nasal pressure (Sniff Pnasal) was recorded in 41.8% and a low sniff oesophageal pressure (Sniff Poes) in 37.9%. When assessing inspiratory strength with the combination of all three tests, 29.6% of patients had weakness. Using the two non-invasive tests (Pimax and Sniff Pnasal) in combination, a similar result was obtained (low in 32.4%). Combining Sniff Pdi (low in 68.2%) and Twitch Pdi (low in 67.4%) reduced the diagnoses of patients with diaphragm weakness to 55.3% in group B. 38.3% of the patients in group C had expiratory muscle weakness as measured by maximum expiratory pressure (Pemax) compared with 36.7% when weakness was diagnosed by cough gastric pressure (Pgas), and 28.3% when assessed by Twitch T10. Combining all three expiratory muscle tests reduced the number of patients diagnosed as having expiratory muscle weakness to 16.7%.
The use of single tests such as Pimax, Pemax and other available individual tests of inspiratory, diaphragm and expiratory muscle strength tends to overdiagnose weakness. Combinations of tests increase diagnostic precision and, in the population studied, they reduced the diagnosis of inspiratory, specific diaphragm and expiratory muscle weakness by 19-56%. Measuring both Pimax and Sniff Pnasal resulted in a relative reduction of 19.2% of patients falsely diagnosed with inspiratory muscle weakness. The addition of Twitch Pdi to Sniff Pdi increased diagnostic precision by a smaller amount (18.9%). Having multiple tests of respiratory muscle function available both increases diagnostic precision and makes assessment possible in a range of clinical circumstances.
Thorax 12/2007; 62(11):975-80. · 6.84 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: The diaphragmatic pressure-time product (PTPdi) has been used to quantify the loading and unloading of the diaphragm. The validity of the relationship between PTPdi and diaphragm electrical activity (EMGdi) during pressure-support ventilation (PSV) is unclear. We examined this relationship.
Physiological study in a physiology laboratory.
Six healthy adults.
Spontaneous breathing (SB) and two levels of PSV (6 and 12 cmH(2)O), breathing room air and incremental concentrations of carbon dioxide, sufficient to achieve an EMGdi signal of approximately 200% of baseline value.
We measured the electrical (EMGdi) and mechanical (PTPdi) activity of the diaphragm using oesophageal electrode and oesophageal and gastric balloon catheters. The relationship between EMGdi and PTPdi during SB was linear in five subjects and curvilinear in one. However, with PSV 12 cmH(2)O we observed that the relationship between EMGdi and PTPdi was 'left shifted'; specifically, for any given level of EMGdi the PTPdi was smaller with PSV 12 cmH(2)O than during SB. However, when PTPdi was converted to power (the product of pressure and flow) the tendency to left shift was largely reversed.
We conclude that when assessing of diaphragm unloading during PSV flow measurements are required. Where flow is constant, PTPdi is a valid measure of diaphragm unloading, but if not these data may be used to make an appropriate correction.
Intensive Care Medicine 12/2003; 29(11):1960-6. · 5.40 Impact Factor