Journal of Applied Physiology vol:76 issue:1 pages:39-44
During acute hyperinflation, patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are likely to have foreshortened inspiratory muscles. Because the effects of aminophylline on contractile properties of the foreshortened diaphragm have never been studied in vivo, we compared these effects with those obtained at functional residual capacity (FRC). In 12 anesthetized dogs, bilateral phrenic nerve stimulation (1, 10, 20, and 100 Hz) was performed at FRC and near total lung capacity (TLC) before and 1 h after each injection of aminophylline, given in cumulative doses of 20, 40, and 80 mg/kg (serum levels of 18.7 +/- 6.3, 29.9 +/- 5.9, and 60.4 +/- 11.9 mg/l, respectively). Passive diaphragm shortening from FRC to TLC, measured in eight animals, averaged 30 +/- 12% of the resting length and increased to 35 +/- 12 and 34 +/- 13% after 40 and 80 mg/kg, respectively. After aminophylline, the increase in transdiaphragmatic pressure at FRC did not reach statistical significance, whereas near TLC transdiaphragmatic pressure significantly increased with 80 mg/kg at all stimulus frequencies (e.g., at 20 Hz from 4.4 +/- 2.9 to 6.7 +/- 2.9 cmH2O) and with 40 mg/kg at 10 and 20 Hz. Diaphragm length changes during stimulation were unchanged after aminophylline both at FRC and near TLC. We conclude that aminophylline has a pronounced inotropic effect on foreshortened canine diaphragm, even at concentrations close to the therapeutic range in humans.