In a patient with a chronic post-tuberculous bronchopleural cutaneous fistula (BPCF), minute ventilation, dead space, flow rates, arterial blood gas tensions, and oxygen consumption were measured during mouth breathing and after 30 min of steady-state breathing solely through the BPCF. Despite a 390-ml (18%) decrease in dead space when breathing took place through the BPCF, there were no significant changes in minute ventilation or respiratory rate. BPCF breathing was also associated with an increase in airways resistance as reflected by a 300-ml (35%) decrease in the FEV1 and a 16% decrease in the FEV1/FVC ratio. The increased resistance resulted in a 20 ml/min (18%) increase in oxygen consumption. Arterial blood gas tensions remained constant. We conclude that although ventilatory efficiency was not improved, this patient was able to satisfy his total minute ventilatory requirements, for the 30-min period, solely through BPCF breathing.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine