Applied Respiratory Physiology by J. F. Nunn (Auth.)

By J. F. Nunn (Auth.)

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34 Elastic forces and lung volumes Posture. Lung volume changes with posture (page 39) and there are also problems in the measurement of intrapleural pressure in the supine position (page 42) When these factors are taken into account, it seems unlikely that changes of posture have any significant effect on the specific compliance. Pulmonary blood volume. The pulmonary blood vessels probably make an appreciable contribution to the stiffness of the lung. Pulmonary venous congestion from whatever cause is associated with reduced compliance.

The advancing cone front means that some fresh gas will reach the end of a tube while the volume entering the tube is still less than the volume of the tube. In the context of the respiratory tract, this is to say that there may be a significant alveolar ventilation when the tidal volume is less than the anatomical dead space, a fact which was noted by Rohrer in 1915 and is very relevant to high frequency ventilation (page 406). For the same reason, laminar flow is relatively inefficient for purging the contents of a tube.

Observations on bubbles in lung froth (Pattle, 1955) and later on alveolar extracts (Brown, Johnson and Clements, 1959) have demonstrated that the surface tension of alveolar lining fluid is indeed much lower than water. Furthermore, its value is not constant but changes in proportion to the area of the interface. 1b shows an experiment in which a floating bar is moved in a trough containing an alveolar extract. As the bar is moved to the right, the surface film is concentrated and the surface tension changes as shown in the graph on the right of the Figure.

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