, Volume 272, Issue 1, pp 53-58
Date: 23 Dec 2004

Lung function and breathing regulation parameters during pregnancy

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Abstract

Aim

The aim of this study was to evaluate the changes in lung function and breathing regulation parameters measured in women who did not suffer from any respiratory system disorders (in comparison with body mass index values obtained before pregnancy) in any particular trimester of pregnancy.

Methods

The study was carried out on 51 pregnant women aged 26.6±4.9 years and 40 healthy women (control group). Spirometry, flow-volume loop, respiratory resistance (RRS), and respiratory pattern were evaluated using computerized spirometer “Lungtest,” Poland. The examinations were performed in the first, second, and third trimesters of pregnancy.

Results

The statistically significant differences during pregnancy were stated in cases of tidal volume (VT) and minute ventilation (MV) (whereas breath frequency was nearly on the same level), inspiratory drive (VT/T I) and also occlusion pressure (P 0.1), RRS, and peak expiratory flow (PEF). We observed a correlation between BMI at the baseline with P 0.1, MV, and VT/T I.

Conclusions

We conclude that BMI at the baseline seems to predict the increase in MV, occlusion pressure, and inspiratory drive. The fact that RRS values increase during pregnancy and both forced expiratory volume (FEV1) and FEV1% forced vital capacity (FVC) values remain at the same level may reflect the effect of the autonomous nervous system on the respiratory tract.

Some of the results were presented at the 13th ERS Annual Congress, Vienna, Austria, 27 September–1 October, 2003. Kolarzyk E, Szot WM, Łyszczarz J (2003) The breathing regulation in early stage of pregnancy. Abstract in : Eur Respir J 22[Suppl 45]:98; Łyszczarz J, Kolarzyk E, Szot WM (2003) Respiratory system efficiency in early stage of pregnancy. Abstract in: Eur Respir J 22 [Suppl 45]:275