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The effect of exhalation flow on endogenous particle emission and phospholipid composition

Journal article
Authors Per Larsson
Björn Bake
Anita Wallin
O. Hammar
Ann-Charlotte Almstrand
Mona Lärstad
Evert Ljungström
Ekaterina Mirgorodskaya
Anna-Carin Olin
Published in Respiratory Physiology & Neurobiology
Volume 243
Pages 39-46
ISSN 1569-9048
Publication year 2017
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology
Institute of Medicine
Pages 39-46
Language en
Keywords PEx, Exhaled particles, Pulmonary surfactant, Non-invasive technique, Forced expiration, Airway re-opening, mass-spectrometric analysis, surfactant protein-a, exhaled particles, lung, clearance, cough, phosphatidylcholine, metabolism, limitation, asthma, Physiology, Respiratory System, sanctis gt, 1994, european respiratory journal, v7, p1616
Subject categories Health Sciences


Exhaled particles constitute a micro-sample of respiratory tract lining fluid. Inhalations from low lung volumes generate particles in small airways by the airway re-opening mechanism. Forced exhalations are assumed to generate particles in central airways by mechanisms associated with high air velocities. To increase knowledge on how and where particles are formed, different breathing manoeuvres were compared in 11 healthy volunteers. Particles in the 0.41-4.55 mu m diameter range were characterised and sampled. The surfactant lipid dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) was quantified by mass spectrometry. The mass of exhaled particles increased by 150% (95% CI 10-470) for the forced exhalation and by 470% (95% CI 150-1190) for the airway re-opening manoeuvre, compared to slow exhalations. DPPC weight percent concentration (wt%) in particles was 2.8 wt% (95%CI 1.4-4.2) and 9.4 wt% (95%CI 8.0-10.8) for the forced and the airway re-opening manoeuvres, respectively. In conclusion, forced exhalation and airway re-opening manoeuvres generate particles from different airway regions having different DPPC concentration.

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