Interaction of fatigue and hypercapnia in the canine diaphragm

J. Schnader, S. Howell, R. S. Fitzgerald, C. Roussos

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13 Scopus citations


We studied 10 open-chest dogs and measured the pressure across the diaphragm (Pdi) in each period of the protocol during stimulation at frequencies of 1, 20, 50, and 80 Hz. Three ranges of arterial PCO2 (Pa(CO2)) were examined: ≤26, 36-50, and ≥89 Torr. The diaphragm was fatigued with repetitive phrenic stimulation (30 Hz). During the fatiguing activity, five of the animals were subjected to hypercapnia and the other five to hypocapnia. A frequency-Pdi curve was generated for each period in the protocol. The data show that 1) fatiguing to 50% of the initial Pdi value during hypercapnia was significantly more rapid than during hypocapnia; 2) both the prefatigue and postfatigue mean Pdi values over all interactions of frequency, fatigue, and Pa(CO2) were unaffected by the fatiguing environment (hypercapnia vs. hypocapnia); 3) the percent reduction of Pdi by hypercapnia was the same at all four frequencies; 4) hypocapnia did not alter either the pre- or postfatigue frequency-Pdi curve; and 5) one-half relaxation time, unaffected by Pa(CO2), was prolonged by fatigue. We conclude that the hypercapnic diaphragm has less endurance than the hypocapnic diaphragm and that although both fatigue and hypercapnia decrease Pdi, they appear to be separate entities working through different mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1636-1643
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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