European Respiratory Journal vol:10 issue:4 pages:934-41
Hyperinflation clearly affects respiratory muscle interaction. It commonly increases the rib cage contribution to chest wall motion, whilst it reduces the abdominal contribution. This change is thought to result from the fact that hyperinflation severely reduces the mechanical advantage of the diaphragm, whilst it affects the mechanical advantage of the neck and rib cage muscles to a lesser extent. The mechanical disadvantage in the diaphragm induced by hyperinflation is presumably primarily the result of the length changes undergone by the diaphragm in acute hyperinflation. Changes in diaphragmatic geometry are generally considered to be less important in the reduction of the diaphragm's force-generating capacity. Further factors contributing to the mechanical disadvantage in the diaphragm include a reduction in the appositional component of diaphragmatic action (through reduction in the zone of apposition), and a reduction in the insertional component (through a shift in the alignment of the diaphragmatic fibres from axial to radial). In chronic hyperinflation, the diaphragm adapts to the chronically hyperinflated state. This adaptation to chronic foreshortening is similar to the adaptation occurring in the skeletal muscle. It is caused by a dropout of sarcomeres in series along the muscle fibres. It restores the force-generating capacity of the muscle, in part, but it reduces the capacity of the muscle to undergo length changes. The mechanical advantage of the parasternal intercostals and the scalenes is possibly less affected, because the length changes undergone by these muscles during hyperinflation are smaller. The factors determining the mechanical advantage of the parasternal intercostals are complex. Variables related to the mechanical advantage of the parasternal intercostals include: length changes; changes in angle between the parasternal intercostals and the sternum and between rib and sternum; and changes in mechanical arrangement among different parasternals. At present, it is difficult to develop an integrated view of these factors and of their change with hyperinflation. Finally, hyperinflation commonly results in recruitment of expiratory muscles. The functional significance of this expiratory muscle recruitment in patients is still debated.