A model for the static pressure-volume behavior of the lung parenchyma based on a pseudo-elastic strain energy function was tested. Values of the model parameters and their variances were estimated by an optimal least-squares fit of the model-predicted pressures to the corresponding data from excised, saline-filled dog lungs. Although the model fit data from twelve lungs very well, the coefficients of variation for parameter values differed greatly. To analyze the sensitivity of the model output to its parameters, we examined an approximate Hessian, H, of the least-squares objective function. Based on the determinant and condition number of H, we were able to set formal criteria for choosing the most reliable estimates of parameter values and their variances. This in turn allowed us to specify a normal range of parameter values for these dog lungs. Thus the model not only describes static pressure-volume data, but also uses the data to estimate parameters from a fundamental constitutive equation. The optimal parameter estimation and sensitivity analysis developed here can be widely applied to other physiologic systems.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.