Neck and body position effects on pulmonary mechanics in infants

Academic Article


  • Pulmonary mechanics and ventilatory parameters were measured in 30 former preterm infants at a postterm age of 8 to 10 months. All subjects had required assisted ventilation in the neonatal period and 16 had a history of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Each infant was studied in both supine and semisitting positions, and in each body position the infants were studied with neutral, flexed, and extended neck positions. Baseline measurements (body supine, neck neutral) and the responses to postural changes did not differ between infants who had had bronchopulmonary dysplasia and those who had not. Change in body position from supine to semisitting decreased total pulmonary resistance (P < .05) and increased specific lung compliance (P < .01). Neck flexion increased resistance (P < .0001) in both body positions but did not influence compliance. These postural effects are consistent with an increase in functional residual capacity in the semisitting position and a decrease in pharyngeal area during neck flexion. Thus, posture needs to be precisely controlled during pulmonary function testing in infants. Furthermore, optimal neck and body position may improve their clinical status.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Pediatrics  Journal
  • Author List

  • Carlo WA; Beoglos A; Siner BS; Martin RJ
  • Start Page

  • 670
  • End Page

  • 674
  • Volume

  • 84
  • Issue

  • 4