Effect of head position on distribution of nasal airflow in preterm infants

Academic Article


  • Supine preterm infants characteristically adopt a lateral head position; however, it is not known wether this influences the distribution of nasal alrflow. Ventilation was measured in 12 healthy preterm infants (postconceptional age 34±2 weeks) by employing a nasal mask pneumotachygraph that separated airflow between the left and right nasal passages. In the midline supine position, the percent of total tidal volume (%V ) through the right nasal passage ranged from 31% to 64% and varied by less than 5% between active and quiet sleep in any infant. Lateral positioning of the head caused %V to increase on the dependent side and decrease through the upper nasal passage. When the right side was dependent, mena %V on that side increased from 52±9% to 67±14% (P <0.01) and decreased to 43±10% (P <0.05) when the right side was up. In the midline position, the presence of a nasogastric tube caused %V through the nasal passage with the tube to fall from 54 ± 8% to 39 ± 8% (P <0.01). The %V fell farther, to 25±10% (P <0.01), when the nasal passage with the nasogastric tube was up. Despite these changes in V distribution, total V remained constant during these maneuvers. We speculate that when supine preterm infants adopt a lateral head position, the decrease in airflow through the upper nasal passage results from partial obstruction of the oropharyngeal or nasopharyngeal airway on that side. © 1988 The C. V. Mosby Company. t T T T T T T
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 21704234
  • Author List

  • Martin RJ; Siner B; Carlo WA; Lough M; Miller MJ
  • Start Page

  • 99
  • End Page

  • 103
  • Volume

  • 112
  • Issue

  • 1