A model of the respiratory pump

D R Hillman, K E Finucane

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    The interaction of forces that produce chest wall motion and lung volume change is complex and incompletely understood. To aid understanding we have developed a simple model that allows prediction of the effect on chest wall motion of changes in applied forces. The model is a lever system on which the forces generated actively by the respiratory muscles and passively by impedances of rib cage, lungs, abdomen, and diaphragm act at fixed sites. A change in forces results in translational and/or rotational motion of the lever; motion represents volume change. The distribution and magnitude of passive relative to active forces determine the locus and degree of rotation and therefore the effect of an applied force on motion of the chest wall, allowing the interaction of diaphragm, rib cage, and abdomen to be modeled. Analysis of moments allow equations to be derived that express the effect on chest wall motion of the active component in terms of the passive components. These equations may be used to test the model by comparing predicted with empirical behavior. The model is simple, appears valid for a variety of respiratory maneuvers, is useful in interpreting relative motion of rib cage and abdomen and may be useful in quantifying the effective forces acting on the rib cage.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)951-61
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985)
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 1987

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