Effect of ischemia-reperfusion on diaphragm strength and fatigability

G. Supinski, D. Stofan, A. DiMarco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Although episodes of prolonged limb skeletal muscle ischemia followed by periods of reperfusion and reoxygenation are known to elicit free radical- mediated injury, the susceptibility of the diaphragm to this form of injury is not known. The purpose of the present study was to determine the effects of a period of severe partial ischemia, followed by reperfusion, on diaphragm contractile function. We also examined the effect of administration of a free radical scavenger, dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), on the diaphragmatic response to ischemia-reperfusion. Experiments were performed on three groups of anesthetized dogs in which a vascularly isolated strip of diaphragm was dissected in situ: 1) a control group in which the diaphragm was perfused at the ambient systemic pressure, 2) a group in which the diaphragm was made ischemic for 3 h and reperfused for 1 h, and 3) a group given DMSO before periods of ischemia and reperfusion. In all groups, we measured diaphragm strip strength and fatigability; we also assessed diaphragm blood flow at several levels of contractile activity. Periods of ischemia, followed by reperfusion, were found to produce a downward shift of the diaphragm force- frequency relationship and also to markedly increase diaphragm fatigability. Diaphragm blood flow at rest and at low levels of contractile activity was unaffected by ischemia-reperfusion, but the flow achieved during fatiguing contractions was appreciably lower than that in nonischemic control animals. DMSO administration protected the diaphragm from the effects of ischemia- reperfusion, preventing alterations in fatigability and strength. Diaphragm flow in DMSO-treated animals was similar to that in controls. These data suggest that prolonged severe diaphragmatic ischemia, followed by reperfusion, produces a free radical-mediated injury that affects diaphragm contractile function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2180-2187
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1993


  • muscle blood flow
  • respiratory muscles
  • skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of ischemia-reperfusion on diaphragm strength and fatigability'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this