Inspiratory aerodynamic valving in goose lungs depends on gas density and velocity

Robert B. Banzett, James P. Butler, Christopher S. Nations, George M. Barnas, John L. Lehr, James H Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The non-reversing gas flow pattern in the avain lung has been attributed to 'aerodynamic valves'. A fundamental property of all aerodynamic valves is their dependence on inertial forces in the gas stream: sufficient reduction of inertial forces will cause aerodynamics valves to fail. If valving in the avian lung is aerodynamic, it should fail when gas stream momentum is reduced. We tested the dependence of the inspiratory valves in the goose lung on gas density and gas flow velocity. A bolus of tracer gas was placed in the tracheal cannula during and end-expiratory pause. Tracer gas appearance in cranial air sac during the following inspiration and pause was used to deduce failure of the 'inspiratory valve' in cyclically ventilated geese. Little or no tracer entered the sac under control conditions, which approximated resting breathing, indicating highly effective valving. Lower flow rate gas density caused increased tracer appearance, indicating valve failure. These results demonstrate the importance of gas inertial forces to normal valve function, and are direct evidence for the aerodynamic nature of the avian inspiratory valve.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-300
Number of pages14
JournalRespiration Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes


  • Avian respiration
  • Birds
  • Distribution of ventilation
  • Fluid dynamics
  • Gas flow
  • Ventilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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