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Lung Parenchymal Shear Modulus, Airway Wall Remodeling, And Bronchial Hyperresponsiveness

Rodney K. Lambert, Peter D. Paré

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Lambert, Rodney K., and Peter D. Paré. Lung parenchymal shear modulus, airway wall remodeling, and bronchial hyperresponsiveness. J. Appl. Physiol.83(1): 140–147, 1997.—When airways narrow, either through the action of smooth muscle shortening or during forced expiration, the lung parenchyma is locally distorted and provides an increased peribronchial stress that resists the narrowing. Although this interdependence has been well studied, the quantitative significance of airway remodeling to interdependence has not been elucidated. We have used an improved computational model of the bronchial response to smooth muscle agonists to investigate the relationships between airway narrowing (as indicated by airway resistance), parenchymal shear modulus, adventitial thickening, and inner wall thickening at lung recoil pressures of 4, 5, and 8 cmH2O. We have found that, at low recoil pressures, decreases in parenchymal shear modulus have a significant effect that is comparable to that of moderate thickening of the airway wall. At higher lung recoil pressures, the effect is negligible.