Fatigue of the inspiratory muscle pump in humans: An isoflow approach

T. L. Clanton, B. T. Ameredes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A new method is described for measurement of inspiratory muscle endurance in humans that is based on isokinetic principles of muscle testing (i.e., measurement of maximum force during a constant velocity of shortening). Subjects inspired maximally while their lungs were inflated at a constant rate during each breath for 10 min. Inspiratory and expiratory time, flow rate, tidal volume, and end-tidal CO2 were maintained constant. In each subject, maximum inspiratory mouth pressure exponentially decayed over the first few minutes to an apparent sustainable value. Repeated tests in experienced subjects showed high reproducibility of sustainable pressure measurements. To determine the effects of flow, endurance tests were repeated in four subjects at flows of 0.75, 1.0, and 1.25 l/s, with a constant duty cycle. As flow increased, the maximum pressures that could be attained at rest and the maximum sustainable pressures decreased. At each flow, the sustainable pressure remained a constant fraction of the maximum pressure attainable at rest. We interpret the decay in mouth pressure during isoflow endurance tests to directly reflect the loss of net inspiratory muscle force available by maximum voluntary activation of the inspiratory pump.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1693-1699
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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