Lung perfusion and chest wall configuration is altered by glossopharyngeal breathing

L. M. Seccombe, S. C S Chung, C. R. Jenkins, C. J. Frater, D. W J Mackey, M. A. Pearson, L. Emmett, M. J. Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Glossopharyngeal insufflation is used by competitive breath-hold divers to increase lung gas content above baseline total lung capacity (TLC) in order improve performance. Whilst glossopharyngeal insufflation is known to induce hypotension and tachycardia, little is known about the effects on the pulmonary circulation and structural integrity of the thorax. Six male breath-hold divers were studied. Exhaled lung volumes were measured before and after glossopharyngeal insufflation. On two study days, subjects were studied in the supine position at baseline TLC and after maximal glossopharyngeal insufflation above TLC. Tc 99m labelled macro-aggregated albumin was injected and a computed tomography (CT) scan of the thorax was performed during breath-hold. Single photon emission CT images determined flow and regional deposition. Registered CT images determined change in the volume of the thorax. CT and perfusion comparisons were possible in four subjects. Lung perfusion was markedly diminished in areas of expanded lung. 69% of the increase in expired lung volume was via thoracic expansion with a caudal displacement of the diaphragm. One subject who was not proficient at glossopharyngeal insufflation had no change in CT appearance or lung perfusion. We have demonstrated areas of hyperexpanded, under perfused lung created by glossopharyngeal insufflation above TLC. Copyright

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-156
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Respiratory Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Lung perfusion and chest wall configuration is altered by glossopharyngeal breathing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this