Laryngeal constriction in normal humans during experimentally induced bronchoconstriction
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Changes in the size of the glottis with bronchoconstriction were assessed in six normal subjects following inhalation of histamine or methacholine. Measurements were made during both tidal breathing and panting at 2-3 Hz. The midexpiratory size of the glottis was decreased by a mean of 8% during bronchoconstriction compared with control during tidal breathing. Changes in midinspiratory size were inconsistent. During panting, the glottic size was unchanged from inspiration to expiration but decreased in 7 of 15 studies during bronchoconstriction. The decreases in expiratory size of the glottis during quiet breathing would lead to an elevated laryngeal resistance coupled with an increased lower airway resistance. Although this seems to be a paradoxical laryngeal response, it may contribute to maintaining hyperinflation during bronchoconstriction, thereby effectively enlarging the lower airways.
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