Respiratory physiology

Respiratory physiology

Respiratory physiology is the branch of human physiology focusing upon respiration.

Topics include:


* lung volumes
* vital capacity
* functional residual capacity
* dead space
* spirometry
* body plethysmography
* peak flow meter


Breathing in, or inhaling, is usually an active movement. The contraction of the diaphragm muscles cause a pressure variation, which is equal to the pressures caused by elastic, resistive and inertial components of the respiratory system.

egin{align}P &= P_{el} + P_{re} + P_{in} \P &= EV + Rdot{V} + Iddot{V} end{align}

Where Pel equals the product of elastance E (inverse of compliance) and volume of the system V, Pre equals the product of flow resistance R and time derivate of volume V (which is equivalent to the flow), Pin equals the product of inertance I and second time derivate of V. R and I are sometimes referred to as Rohrer's constants.

* Anatomy: pleural cavity, thoracic diaphragm, Intercostales externi muscles, Intercostales interni muscles
* inhalation and exhalation
* lung, pulmonary alveolus
* With insufficient pulmonary surfactant, the pulmonary alveoli collapse, causing atelectasis (in infants, infant respiratory distress syndrome)
* the law of Laplace,
* compliance (physiology) - decreased with fibrosis, increased with emphysema [ [ Compliance ] ]
* Poiseuille's law
* asthma and COPD
* hysteresivity

Circulation, ventilation, and perfusion

* pulmonary circulation
* positive pressure ventilation
* hypoxic vasoconstriction
* ventilation (physiology), perfusion, ventilation/perfusion ratio (V/Q), and ventilation/perfusion scan
* shunts: right-to-left (tetralogy of fallot), left-to-right (patent ductus arteriosus)
* respiratory rate and respirometer

Gas exchange/transport (primarily oxygen and carbon dioxide)

* gas exchange
* Dalton's law
* hemoglobin
* oxygen-hemoglobin dissociation curve, Bohr effect, Haldane effect
* carbonic anhydrase
* oxyhemoglobin
* respiratory quotient
* arterial blood gas

Control and response

* control of respiration
* reticular formation
* pons (apneuistic and pneumotaxic)
* chemoreceptors (medulla, carotid body, aortic body)
* Hering-Breuer reflex
* involuntary control of respiration
* exercise
* hyperoxia
* hypoxemia (hypoxic hypoxia)


* altitude sickness
* asthma
* carbon monoxide poisoning
* chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
* emphysema
* infant respiratory distress syndrome
* pulmonary edema

ee also

* breath sounds
* pulmonology
* respiratory system



External links

* [ Overview] at Johns Hopkins University
* [ Overview] at Medical College of Georgia

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