Role of the superior pharyngeal constrictor muscle in forced breathing in dogs

Zekai Yaman, Mikihiko Kogo, Hitomi Senoo, Seiji Iida, Shoichirou Ishii, Tokuzo Matsuya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Respiratory-related electromyographic (EMG) activity of the superior pharyngeal constrictor (SPC) muscle was analyzed during the early stage of forced breathing. Design: Four adult dogs anesthetized with sodium pentobarbital were used. In the first part of the study, oral and nasal breathing tubes were placed into the respective cavities, and a tracheotomy tube was placed in the second part of the study. Two conditions, the presence (oral-nasal tube breathing) and absence (tracheotomy breathing) of airflow in the upper airway, were achieved in each dog. Following quiet breathing, animals were connected to a closed breathing system, first by an oral-nasal tube and then by a tracheotomy tube. We proposed to induce a forced breathing condition mechanically by using this system for 1 minute. We increased resistance to airflow during forced breathing by means of connecting tubes and a bag. Our aim was not to produce chemical drive but to produce a forced respiration by increasing the resistance to airflow. Tidal volume, breathing frequency, minute volume, chest wall movement, and EMG activity of the SPC muscle were measured and analyzed. Results: During quiet breathing through an oral-nasal or tracheotomy tube, low-amplitude EMG activity of the SPC muscle corresponding to the expiratory cycle of the respiration was observed. In both study conditions, phasic expiratory EMG activity increased immediately after the advent of the breathing from the closed system. Tidal volumes and frequencies also increased rapidly during forced breathing. Conclusions: An increase in the resistance to airflow increased the activity of the SPC muscle. This augmented respiratory activity probably assists the patency of the upper airway. The augmented respiratory activity was independent of the local reflex pathways. Respiratory-related activity of the SPC muscle may help dilate and stiffen the pharyngeal airway, promoting airway patency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-204
Number of pages8
JournalCleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Electromyography
  • Respiration
  • Superior pharyngeal constrictor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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