Assessment of Lung Physiology Using Pulmonary Function Tests

  • Marc Zelter
  • Christian Straus
  • André Capderou
Part of the Medical Radiology book series (MEDRAD)


The lung combines two basic functions linked to respiration; first gas exchange, consisting of the oxygenation of the incoming desaturated venous blood and the removal of carbon dioxide, thus producing arterialized blood, and second, and consequently, the removal of protons (H+) from this incoming blood, permitting fast regulation of the blood concentration of H+ (pH) (Dejours 1975). To perform this task adequately, ventilation and circulation within the lung must be matched so that the ratio of the distribution of ventilation to that of perfusion is optimum. The ventilation-perfusion ratio ultimately determines the functional performance of the lung in terms of gas exchange at a given level of ventilation (Riley and Cournand 1949). Measurement of blood gases is the most relevant test available to give a global assessment of gas exchange in a given patient. Unfortunately blood gas values, when abnormal, give no clue as to what aspect of lung function is impaired. Furthermore, these values tend to become abnormal only in the late or acute phase of lung diseases, because of the remarkable flexibility of ventilationperfusion control.


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Lung Volume Forced Vital Capacity Respiratory Muscle Phrenic Nerve Stimulation 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc Zelter
    • 1
  • Christian Straus
    • 2
  • André Capderou
    • 3
  1. 1.Service Central d’Explorations Fonctionnelles RespiratoiresGroupe Hospitalier Pitié Salpêtrière, AP-HP, and Université Paris VIParis Cedex 13France
  2. 2.Service Central d’Explorations Fonctionnelles RespiratoiresGroupe Hospitalier Pitié Salpêtrière, AP-HPParis Cedex 13France
  3. 3.Hôpital Marie LannelonguePlessis RobinsonFrance

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