Unaffected contractility of diaphragm muscle fibers in humans on mechanical ventilation

Pleuni E. Hooijman, Marinus A. Paul, Ger J.M. Stienen, Albertus Beishuizen, Hieronymus W.H. Van Hees, Sunil Singhal, Muhammad Bashir, Murat T. Budak, Jacqueline Morgen, Robert J. Barsotti, Sanford Levine, Coen A.C. Ottenheijm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Several studies have indicated that diaphragm dysfunction develops in patients on mechanical ventilation (MV). Here, we tested the hypothesis that the contractility of sarcomeres, i.e., the smallest contractile unit in muscle, is affected in humans on MV. To this end, we compared diaphragm muscle fibers of nine brain-dead organ donors (cases) that had been on MV for 26 ± 5 h with diaphragm muscle fibers from nine patients (controls) undergoing surgery for lung cancer that had been on MV for less than 2 h. In each diaphragm specimen we determined 1) muscle fiber cross-sectional area in cryosections by immunohisto-chemical methods and 2) the contractile performance of permeabil-ized single muscle fibers by means of maximum specific force, kinetics of cross-bridge cycling by rate of tension redevelopment, myosin heavy chain content and concentration, and calcium sensitivity of force of slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscle fibers. In case subjects, we noted no statistically significant decrease in outcomes compared with controls in slow-twitch or fast-twitch muscle fibers. These observations indicate that 26 h of MV of humans is not invariably associated with changes in the contractile performance of sarcomeres in the diaphragm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L460-L470
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 15 2014


  • Contractility
  • Diaphragm
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Single muscle fiber

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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