Lung volumes, maximum expiratory flow rates, and static volume-ressure curves were measured in 16 patients with clinically stable asthma. It was found that flow rates were reduced in such patients because of the combined effects of reduced elastic recoil (transpulmonary pressure) and intrinsic diseases of the airways. In nine patients treated with an aerosol of isoprenaline, flow rates improved as a result of reduction in airways resistance as the static recoil pressure of the lungs fell further in those patients. The possibility is suggested that muscle tone in peripheral airways or alveolar ducts contributed to the elastic recoil measurements.
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