Indexed on: 24 Jul '07Published on: 24 Jul '07Published in: The Veterinary Journal
The purpose of the study was to compare barometric whole body plethysmography (BWBP) and its derived parameter, enhanced pause (PENH), with conventional respiratory mechanics measurements. Resistance (RL), dynamic compliance (Cdyn) and pleural pressure changes were measured in six healthy anaesthetised Beagle dogs using a pneumotachograph and oesophageal balloon technique consecutive to BWBP-derived variables. Upper airway airflow limitation was established (1) by a filter or (2) by insertion of a narrow endotracheal tube. Bronchoconstriction was induced by nebulisation of carbachol at increasing concentrations until PENH exceeded 300% baseline. Upper airway narrowing significantly increased resistance (baseline RL 2.0+/-0.3, RL filter 11.8+/-3.2, RL luminal narrowing 21.1+/-2.3cm H(2)O/L/s; P <0.03), whereas PENH did not change significantly (baseline PENH 0.55+/-0.17, PENH filter 0.49+/-0.10; PENH luminal narrowing 0.50+/-0.18; P >0.05). Carbachol-induced bronchoconstriction caused a significant increase in PENH (baseline PENH 0.43+/-0.14, PENH carbachol 2.62+/-2.14; P <0.02) and resistance (baseline RL 2.1+/-0.3, RL carbachol 28.8+/-13.0 cm H2O/L/s; P <0.01), and a pronounced drop in compliance (baseline Cdyn 163.3+/-73.9, Cdyn carbachol 9.7+/-2.9mL/cmH2O; P <0.02). It was concluded that BWBP detects airflow limitation due to bronchoconstriction but not due to upper airway obstruction in healthy dogs. BWBP represents a valid, although not very sensitive screening tool for respiratory function testing.