Persistence of enhanced aerosol deposition in the lung after recovery from carbachol-induced airway obstruction

C. S. Kim, L. Garcia, M. A. Eldridge, A. Wanner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Time course recovery from induced airway obstruction by carbachol infusion (CI; 0.2 μg·kg-1·min-1 for 40 min), carbachol aerosol (CA; 10 breaths of 2% solution), and histamine aerosol (HA; 25-50 breaths of 5% solution) challenge was investigated in conscious sheep (n = 6 each). Total lung aerosol deposition and airway caliber as assessed by pulmonary airflow resistance (RL) were measured every 20-30 min up to 4 h after the challenges. Aerosol deposition was measured by monitoring aerosol concentration continuously with a laser aerosol photometer while the sheep rebreathed 1.0-μm-diam inert oil droplets delivered by a 0.25-liter bag-in-box system driven by a respiratory pump at a breathing frequency of 30 breaths/min. Total accumulated deposition at the fifth breath (AD5) as percentage of the initial aerosol concentration was determined and used as an aerosol deposition index. Percent changes in AD5 from baseline were compared with corresponding changes in RL. Both RL and AD5 increased after Cl, CA, and HA: 192-477% for RL and 23-44% for AD5 (P < 0.05). Mean RL returned to baseline values 1 h after CI and HA and 2 h after CA. Mean AD5 returned to baseline at 1 h post-HA. In contrast, mean AD5 remained elevated for 2-4 h after CI and CA (P < 0.05), and the increased AD5 could not be reversed by a bronchodilator aerosol. The persistence of enhanced aerosol deposition long after the return of RL to baseline suggests that complete recovery of airway conditions after CI and CA takes much longer than predicted by RL. Because carbachol is a potent secretagogue and clearance of airway mucus is a slow process, the differential response between RL and AD5 after carbachol may be related to increased airway luminal secretions, particularly in the distal small airways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2104-2112
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • aerosol photometer
  • airway secretions
  • histamine
  • pulmonary airflow resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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