How the diaphragm works in normal subjects

  • N. B. Pride
Part of the Topics in Anaesthesia and Critical Care book series (TIACC)


About 25 years ago, it was proposed that the diaphragm was the only inspiratory muscle active in quiet breathing, but subsequent work has shown that this is not the case. Indeed most recent developments have been in understanding the inter relations between the actions of the diaphragm and the muscles acting on the rib cage and abdominal muscles. Thus, while the diaphragm plays the major role in sustaining ventilation, it is not absolutely essential for life; other muscles can sustain ventilation — albeit with little reserve capacity for use on exercise — when there is undoubted bilateral diaphragm paralysis [1].


Respir Crit Functional Residual Capacity Inspiratory Muscle Quiet Breathing Phrenic Nerve Stimulation 
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© Springer-Verlag Italia, Milano 1999

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  • N. B. Pride

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