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Effect of prolonged mechanical ventilation on diaphragm muscle mitochondria in piglets

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Respiratory muscle weakness is a common problem in the intensive care unit and could be involved in difficulties in weaning from the ventilator after prolonged mechanical ventilation. Animal models have shown that mechanical ventilation itself impairs diaphragm muscle function. In this study we investigated whether diaphragm contractile impairment caused by mechanical ventilation and immobilization in piglets is associated with a derangement in diaphragm mitochondria. Methods: 

Seven piglets received controlled mechanical ventilation during 5 days. A control group of eight piglets were anaesthetized and surgically manipulated in the same way, but were mechanically ventilated for 4–6 h. After mechanical ventilation, diaphragm muscle biopsies were taken for measurements of mitochondria content, mitochondrial respiratory enzymes and markers of oxidative stress. Results: 

Diaphragm mitochondrial content, as assessed by citrate synthase activities and volume density, was not different between the control and ventilated piglets. Activity of complex IV of the mitochondrial respiratory chain decreased by 21% (P = 0.02) when expressed per muscle weight and by 11% (P = 0.03) when expressed per citrate synthase activity. There were no changes in the markers of oxidative stress between the two groups. Conclusion: 

Five days of mechanical ventilation and immobilization decreased the activity of complex IV of the mitochondrial respiratory chain in the diaphragm muscle of the piglets.
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Keywords: Glutathione; SOD; mitochondrial content; mitochondrial enzyme activities; respiratory muscle weakness

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, Huddinge University Hospital, 2: Department of Paediatric Anaesthesia and Intensive Care and 3: Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, Karolinska Hospital, and 4: Clinical Research Centre, Huddinge University Hospital, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

Publication date: 2005-09-01

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