Although diaphragm pacing has been shown to be a practical method of supporting ventilation in children, its usefulness has been limited because of concern that continuous (24 h/day) diaphragm pacing would fatigue and damage the diaphragm. We examined the functional and structural effects of continuous low-frequency diaphragm pacing on the left hemidiaphragm of five immature dogs aged 65 ± 2 (SD) days at onset of pacing. Stimulus parameters approximated those required to pace infants: frequency 11.1 Hz, inspiratory time 810 ms, and respiratory rate 20 breaths/min. Animals were paced 24 h/day for 24-28 days. Paced tidal volumes and airway occlusion pressures were unchanged at low (<15 Hz) stimulus frequencies but were reduced at high (>20 Hz) stimulus frequencies. Although histologically the paced hemidiaphragms appeared normal, histochemical studies showed a conversion from a mixture of type I (54%) and type II (46%) fibers to a uniform population of type I fibers with high oxidative enzyme activity. Transformation of muscle type was also demonstrated by pyrophosphate gel electrophoresis; fast and slow isomyosin bands were noted in control specimens, whereas only slow isomyosin was identified in paced specimens. Thus, in immature dogs, continuous low-frequency pacing affects both function and structure of the diaphragm.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Applied Physiology|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1990|
- diaphragmatic pacing
- electrical stimulation
- muscle fiber type
- phrenic nerve pacing