Pleural pressure from abdominal to pulmonary rib cage: sweep of the lung border

E. Agostoni, L. Zocchi, P. G. Agostoni, P. T. Macklem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pleural pressure was measured by a capsule placed in the superior part of right 8th or 9th intercostal space of dogs in left lateral posture. Transit of lung border was observed through endothoracic fascia at sides of the capsule. During inspiration the capsule membrane faced sequentially: diaphragm, lung border, lung; vice versa during expiration. Pressure on the diaphragm at end expiration was -5.3 ± 0.5 cm H2O, reflecting outward recoil of the rib cage. At transit of lung border during inspiration (bor. I) a marked negative pressure spike occurred; a smaller spike occurred at expiratory transit (bor. E). These spikes should reflect pleural liquid pressure at lung border. At bor. I lung volume and radial displacement of rib 9 or 10 were greater during active than passive ventilation, whereas at bor. E they were similar under both conditions. Hence, during spontaneous inspiration displacement of lung border lags behind lung and rib expansion. Speed of lung border (assessed from duration of negative spike) ranged from 0.8 to 2.3 cm/sec during spontaneous breathing. On average it was similar at bor. I and bor. E, while air flow was greater at bor. I.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-115
Number of pages11
JournalRespiration Physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1989


  • Apposition zone
  • Dog
  • Lung zone
  • Pleural liquid pressure
  • Pleural surface pressure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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