Mechanisms and Detection of Tidal Expiratory Flow Limitation

  • J. Milic-Emili
Conference paper


The highest pulmonary ventilation that a subject can achieve is ultimately limited by the highest flow rates that can be generated. Most normal subjects and endurnance-trained athletes do not exhibit expiratory flow limitation even during maximal exercise [1, 2]. In contrast, patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may exhibit flow limitation even at rest, as first suggested by Hyatt [1]. This was based on his observation that patients with severe COPD often breathe tidally along their MEFV curve. The presence of expiratory flow limitation during tidal breathing promotes dynamic pulmonary hyperinflation, with concomitant increase of inspiratory work, impairment of inspiratory muscle function and adverse effects on hemodynamics [3], and may contribute to dyspnea [4].


Respir Crit Flow Limitation Inspiratory Muscle Expiratory Flow Limitation Severe Airway Obstruction 
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© Springer-Verlag Italia 2000

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  • J. Milic-Emili

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