Sonographic assessment of changes in diaphragmatic kinetics induced by inspiratory resistive loading

Eleni Soilemezi, Matthew Tsagourias, Michael A. Talias, Elpidoforos S. Soteriades, Vasilios Makrakis, Epaminondas Zakynthinos, Dimitrios Matamis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Background and objective Diaphragmatic breathing patterns under resistive loading remain poorly documented. To our knowledge, this is the first study assessing diaphragmatic motion under conditions of inspiratory resistive loading with the use of sonography. Methods We assessed diaphragmatic motion during inspiratory resistive loading in 40 healthy volunteers using M-mode sonography. In phase I of the study, sonography was performed during normal quiet breathing without respiratory loading. In phase II, sonography was performed after application of a nose clip and connection of the subjects to a pneumotachograph through a mouth piece. In phase III, the participants were assessed while subjected to inspiratory resistive loading of 50 cm H2O/L/s. Results Compared with baseline, the application of a mouth piece and nose clip induced a significant increase in diaphragmatic excursion (from 1.7 to 2.3 cm, P < 0.001) and a decrease in respiratory rate (from 13.4 to 12.2, P < 0.01). Inspiratory resistive loading induced a further decrease in respiratory rate (from 12.2 to 8.0, P < 0.01) and a decrease in diaphragmatic velocity contraction (from 1.2 to 0.8 cm/s, P < 0.01), and also an increase in tidal volume (from 795 to 904 mL, P < 0.01); diaphragmatic excursion, however, did not change significantly. Conclusions Inspiratory resistive loading induced significant changes in diaphragmatic contraction pattern, which mainly consisted of decreased velocity of diaphragmatic displacement with no change in diaphragmatic excursion. Tidal volume, increased significantly; the increase in tidal volume, along with the unchanged diaphragmatic excursion, provides sonographic evidence of increased recruitment of extradiaphragmatic muscles under inspiratory resistive loading. M-mode sonography is already being used to study diaphragmatic motion, but to our knowledge, there is no sonographic information regarding diaphragmatic kinetics under the influence of variable respiratory loads; this study examines the special sonographic features of diaphragmatic excursion pattern during inspiratory resistive loading.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-473
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • airway resistance
  • diaphragm
  • respiratory mechanics
  • respiratory muscle
  • ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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