By supplying air and other gases through discs glued to the pleural surface, we studied steady expiratory flow at constant volume. Dog lungs were studied at constant PA - Ppl (alveolar minus pleural pressure) of 7 to 10 cmH2O, as increasing flow was achieved by increasing driving pressure [Ppl - Pao (airway opening pressure)]. Flow became limited (independent of further increases in Ppl - Pao) at between 3.5 and 5.5 l/s. Isovolume-pressure-flow (IVPF) curves constructed from forced expirations at graded efforts yielded similar maximal flows. When the airways were made rigid by drying, flow limitation was abolished. When various gases were passed through the dried lung Moody plots of normalized pressure drop (CD) vs. Reynolds number (Re) showed that all of the data could be plotted on a single curve. Although variable among animals, all Moody plots showed a laminar flow region at Re below 100 and an inertial region at Re above 10,000, with a distinct transition.
- Copyright © 1981 the American Physiological Society