The effect of intravenous aminophylline on the contractile function of the diaphragm was studied in four normal subjects. The contractility of the diaphragm was assessed by the measurement of transdiaphragmatic pressure (Pdi) after right phrenic nerve stimulation at 1 Hz. Pdi was measured before and during aminophylline infusion (6 mg/kg over 30 minutes), during which therapeutic concentrations of theophylline were attained (mean 13.8 mg/l, range 8.5-20.2). The Pdi achieved was not affected by aminophylline. This result suggests that theophylline at therapeutic concentrations has little effect on the contractility of the normal human diaphragm.
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