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Print version ISSN 0121-0793


HERNANDEZ-VALDIVIES, Alher Mauricio; SALAZAR-SANCHEZ, María Bernarda  and  MUNOZ-ORTEGA, Isabel Cristina. Effect of PEEP increase on respiratory muscle activity assessed through surface electromyography in healthy subjects during spontaneous breathing. Iatreia [online]. 2016, vol.29, n.3, pp.280-291. ISSN 0121-0793.


In a mechanically ventilated patient with increased airway resistance, the expiratory time span is insufficient to exhale all the inspired volume. In order to maintain oxygenation and to reduce the workload of respiratory muscles, it is common to apply an extrinsic positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) that reduces tissue collapsibility, counterbalancing the increased resistance. Several studies have shown the usefulness of surface electromyography (sEMG) to quantify the work of breathing (WOB), particularly in patients with obstructive diseases.


To assess the effect of incremental PEEP in the respiratory muscle activity through sEMG in healthy volunteers noninvasively ventilated.


Study of muscle activity in 10 healthy male volunteers, noninvasively ventilated for 20 minutes. The extrinsic PEEP was applied from 0 to 5 cm H2O in steps of 1 cm H2O at 30 seconds intervals.


The bio-potentials of diaphragm and sternocleidomastoid muscles revealed different breathing patterns in response to incremental PEEP: 1) increase in the workload of both muscles during inspiration and expiration; 2) increase in the workload of only one muscle; 3) a remarkable increase in muscle activity only in expiration.


In noninvasively ventilated volunteers, sEMG quantitatively relates the PEEP level with changes in sternocleidomastoid and diaphragm activity.

Keywords : Biomedical Signals Processing; Electromyography; Electronic Medical Records; Mechanical Ventilation; PEEP.

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