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Table 1 Principal advantages and drawbacks of invasive and noninvasive methods

From: Invasive and noninvasive methods for studying pulmonary function in mice

Method Pros cons
Invasive • sensitive and specific analysis of pulmonary mechanics • technically demanding (instrumentation of the trachea, technical equipment)
  • based on physiological principles • need for anesthesia and tracheal instrumentation
  • intact anatomical relationships in the lung • time-consuming
  • bypassing of upper airway resistance, controlled ventilation, and local administration of aerosols via the tracheal tube • no repetitive measurements in tracheostomized animals
  • ease of broncho-alveolar lavage samplings • expertise in handling
  • repetitive and long-term measurements in orotracheally intubated mice  
  • applicable to the assessment of obstructive and restrictive* lung disorders (*requires additional hard- and software)  
noninvasive • quick, easy-to-handle • no direct assessment of pulmonary mechanics
  • repetitive and/or longitudinal measurements of airway responsiveness in the same animal • prone to artifacts (movements, temperature)
  • normal breathing pattern with no need for anesthesia or tracheal instrumentation • contribution of upper airway resistance (changes of glottal aperture, nasal passages)
   • uncertainty about the exact magnitude and localization of bronchoconstriction