The regulation of ventilation in diffuse pulmonary fibrosis

Ruy V. Lourenço, Gerard M. Turino, Lindsay A.G. Davidson, Alfred P. Fishman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The present study is concerned with the mechanisms responsible for the high minute ventilation of patients with diffuse pulmonary fibrosis and with the role of the inordinate work of breathing in limiting their ventilatory responses. The basis for the high ventilation was investigated by experimentally modifying the ventilatory stimuli. The role of the excessive work of breathing was assessed by determining the relationship between minute ventilation and work during carbon dioxide breathing. The results indicate that the high minute ventilation of patients with diffuse fibrosis ordinarily arises from an abnormally large number of afferent nervous impulses reaching the respiratory center from the lungs and/or respiratory muscles. In certain patients, i.e., those with low buffering capacities and/or marked hypoxemia, and under certain conditions, i.e., exercise or bronchial obstruction, this heightened ventilation may be increased further by chemical stimulation. The abnormally high work of breathing does not appear to limit the ventilatory responses of the patients with diffuse pulmonary fibrosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-216
Number of pages18
JournalAmerican Journal of Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1965
Externally publishedYes


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