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Passive Mechanical Properties of the Chest Wall

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Abstract

The sections in this article are:

1 Arrangement of Chest Wall Surfaces
2 Models of Chest Wall Configuration
2.1 Degrees of Freedom
2.2 Configuration in Relaxed States
3 Pressures Applied to Chest Wall Surfaces
4 Elastic Characteristics of Chest Wall Structures
4.1 Pressure‐ Volume Relationships
4.2 Elastic Characteristics of the Abdominal Wall
4.3 Elastic Characteristics of the Diaphragm
4.4 Intrinsic Elastic Behavior of the Rib Cage
4.5 Properties Dependent on Time and Strain History
5 Conclusions
Figure 1. Figure 1.

Two‐dimensional graphic representations of chest wall configuration in the upright posture based on 2 degree of freedom model. Changes in chest wall configuration are described by anteroposterior (A–P) displacements (A) and by volumetric displacements (B) of rib cage and abdominal wall. Volume displacements are derived from measurements of anteroposterior displacements. Displacements are expressed as a percentage of the total displacement over the vital capacity (VC) relative to the active state at residual lung volume (RV). Solid lines and open points indicate configurations in relaxed states. Applied muscle forces or other externally imposed forces deform chest wall surfaces from the relaxed configurations. Surfaces enclosed by dashed line illustrate a range of possible configurations produced by submaximal contraction of rib cage and abdominal musculature. Constant volume isopleths (solid lines and closed points) define displacements at lung volumes indicated.

Adapted from Konno and Mead
Figure 2. Figure 2.

Relationships between applied pressures and volume displacements of rib cage and anterolateral abdominal wall for male subject while standing (solid lines, closed points), sitting (broken lines, closed points), and supine (solid lines, open points). Volume displacements were derived from measurements of linear displacements as lung volume was reduced over VC after a standard volume history of inflation to total lung capacity (TLC). Abdominal pressures, estimated by liquid‐filled gastric catheter‐transducer system, are those at the level of the umbilicus. Pressures applied to rib cage are pleural surface pressures estimated by measurements of esophageal pressure with a balloon‐transducer system. Triangles indicate functional residual capacity (FRC).

Figure 3. Figure 3.

Profiles of the ventral abdominal wall of a male subject illustrating equilibrium configurations in relaxed states at TLC, FRC, and RV while standing (A) and supine (B). At intermediate and low volumes in the upright posture the wall is concave above and convex below point of inflection (arrows) where the transmural pressure (Pab) is zero. In supine posture the wall is nearly flat at intermediate and high volumes. Displacements at cephalic (L1) and caudal (L2) levels are shown in Fig. . Heavy lines indicate costal margin and iliac crest.

Figure 4. Figure 4.

Relationships between anteroposterior diameter of abdominal cavity and transmural pressures of ventral wall as lung volume is reduced from TLC to RV in upright and supine postures. Local transmural pressures at cephalic (L1) and caudal (L2) levels were determined by liquid‐filled gastric catheter‐transducer system. Dimensions at these sites in both postures are expressed as a percentage of the maximum diameter in caudal region at TLC in upright posture. In assuming supine posture, the change in abdominal pressure distribution results in a cephalad displacement of abdominal contents and inward displacement of ventral wall; dimensions at a given site and lung volume are accordingly smaller in supine posture.

Figure 5. Figure 5.

Transdiaphragmatic pressure (A), axial force (B), and axial tension (C) developed by passive diaphragm in a male subject while standing and supine as lung volume is reduced over VC.

Figure 6. Figure 6.

Relationship between estimated values of intrinsic elastic recoil pressure of rib cage (Pel,rc) and rib cage volume displacement as lung volume is reduced over VC in a standing male subject. Also shown are values of pleural surface pressure (Ppl) estimated from esophageal pressure measurements, values of the stress (σ) applied by diaphragmatic insertions, and values of Ppl and appositional (Papp) surface pressure weighted, respectively, by fractional surface areas f1 and f2.



Figure 1.

Two‐dimensional graphic representations of chest wall configuration in the upright posture based on 2 degree of freedom model. Changes in chest wall configuration are described by anteroposterior (A–P) displacements (A) and by volumetric displacements (B) of rib cage and abdominal wall. Volume displacements are derived from measurements of anteroposterior displacements. Displacements are expressed as a percentage of the total displacement over the vital capacity (VC) relative to the active state at residual lung volume (RV). Solid lines and open points indicate configurations in relaxed states. Applied muscle forces or other externally imposed forces deform chest wall surfaces from the relaxed configurations. Surfaces enclosed by dashed line illustrate a range of possible configurations produced by submaximal contraction of rib cage and abdominal musculature. Constant volume isopleths (solid lines and closed points) define displacements at lung volumes indicated.

Adapted from Konno and Mead


Figure 2.

Relationships between applied pressures and volume displacements of rib cage and anterolateral abdominal wall for male subject while standing (solid lines, closed points), sitting (broken lines, closed points), and supine (solid lines, open points). Volume displacements were derived from measurements of linear displacements as lung volume was reduced over VC after a standard volume history of inflation to total lung capacity (TLC). Abdominal pressures, estimated by liquid‐filled gastric catheter‐transducer system, are those at the level of the umbilicus. Pressures applied to rib cage are pleural surface pressures estimated by measurements of esophageal pressure with a balloon‐transducer system. Triangles indicate functional residual capacity (FRC).



Figure 3.

Profiles of the ventral abdominal wall of a male subject illustrating equilibrium configurations in relaxed states at TLC, FRC, and RV while standing (A) and supine (B). At intermediate and low volumes in the upright posture the wall is concave above and convex below point of inflection (arrows) where the transmural pressure (Pab) is zero. In supine posture the wall is nearly flat at intermediate and high volumes. Displacements at cephalic (L1) and caudal (L2) levels are shown in Fig. . Heavy lines indicate costal margin and iliac crest.



Figure 4.

Relationships between anteroposterior diameter of abdominal cavity and transmural pressures of ventral wall as lung volume is reduced from TLC to RV in upright and supine postures. Local transmural pressures at cephalic (L1) and caudal (L2) levels were determined by liquid‐filled gastric catheter‐transducer system. Dimensions at these sites in both postures are expressed as a percentage of the maximum diameter in caudal region at TLC in upright posture. In assuming supine posture, the change in abdominal pressure distribution results in a cephalad displacement of abdominal contents and inward displacement of ventral wall; dimensions at a given site and lung volume are accordingly smaller in supine posture.



Figure 5.

Transdiaphragmatic pressure (A), axial force (B), and axial tension (C) developed by passive diaphragm in a male subject while standing and supine as lung volume is reduced over VC.



Figure 6.

Relationship between estimated values of intrinsic elastic recoil pressure of rib cage (Pel,rc) and rib cage volume displacement as lung volume is reduced over VC in a standing male subject. Also shown are values of pleural surface pressure (Ppl) estimated from esophageal pressure measurements, values of the stress (σ) applied by diaphragmatic insertions, and values of Ppl and appositional (Papp) surface pressure weighted, respectively, by fractional surface areas f1 and f2.

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How to Cite

Jeffrey C. Smith, Stephen H. Loring. Passive Mechanical Properties of the Chest Wall. Compr Physiol 2011, Supplement 12: Handbook of Physiology, The Respiratory System, Mechanics of Breathing: 429-442. First published in print 1986. doi: 10.1002/cphy.cp030325