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Ann Thorac Med. 2012 Oct-Dec; 7(4): 205–209.
PMCID: PMC3506099

Effects of the pneumoperitoneum and Trendelenburg position on respiratory mechanics in the rats by the end-inflation occlusion method



To describe the consequences of the cranial displacement of the diaphgram occurring during pneumoperitoneum (Pnp) and/or Trendelenburg (Tnd) position on respiratory mechanics. Possible addictive effects and the changes of the viscoelastic respiratory system resistance were studied, which were not extensively described before.


The end-inflation occlusion method was applied on eight rats. It allows us to determine mechanical parameters such as respiratory system static elastance, the ohmic resistance due to frictional forces in the airways, and the additional viscoelastic impedance due to tissues deformation. Measurements during mechanical ventilation were taken in controls (supine position), after 20–25° head-down tilting (Tnd), after abdominal air insufflation up to 12 mmHg abdominal pressure in the supine position (Pnp), and combining Tnd + Pnp. Tnd and Pnp modalities were similar to those commonly applied during surgical procedures in humans.


We confirmed the previously described detrimental effects on respiratory mechanics due to the diaphgram displacement during both Pnp and Tnd. The increment in the total resistive pressure dissipation was found to depend primarily on the effects on the viscoelastic characteristics of the respiratory system. Data suggesting greater effects of Pnp compared to those of Tnd were obtained.


The cranial displacement of the diaphgram occurring as a consequence of Pnp and/or Tnd, for example during laparoscopic surgical procedures, causes an increment of respiratory system elastance and viscoelastic resistance. The analysis of addictive effects show that these are more likely to occur when Pnp + Tnd are compared to isolated Tnd rather than to isolated Pnp.

Keywords: Pneumoperitoneum, rat, respiratory mechanics, trendelenburg position

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