Five anesthetized supine beagle dogs were scanned using a fast, multislice computed tomographic X-ray technique to determine the orientation of the ribs at total lung capacity (TLC) and functional residual capacity (FRC). A plane was fit to each rib using a coordinate system in which the z-axis was aligned approximately cephalocaudally and the x-z-plane coincided with the sagittal midplane. The orientation of each plane was described by “pump-handle” and “bucket-handle” angles. The ribs rotated downward and inward during a passive deflation of the lungs from TLC to FRC. Rib displacement was not uniform: bucket-handle motion was predominant in the upper ribs, and pump- and bucket-handle motions were equal in the lower ribs. The change in the pump-handle angles between TLC and FRC was approximately 6 degrees for ribs 3–8, and the change in the bucket-handle angles decreased with rib number from 16 degrees for rib 3 to 6 degrees for rib 8. Rib shape was described by fitting an ellipse to the data for each rib; the ribs became larger and more circular with increasing rib number.
- Copyright © 1989 the American Physiological Society