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By J. F. Nunn (Auth.)

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10 shows that most of the change takes place between horizontal and 60 degrees head-up. Lung disease. The FRC will be reduced by increased elastic recoil of the lungs, chest wall or both. Possible causes include fibrosing alveolitis, organized fibrinous pleurisy, kyphoscoliosis, obesity and scarring of the thorax following burns. Conversely, elastic recoil of the lungs is diminished in emphysema and asthma and the FRC is usually increased. This is beneficial since airway resistance decreases as the lung volume increases.

This method would include trapped gas which might not be registered by the two previous methods. Measurement of closing capacity is considered on page 71. Chapter 3 Resistance to gas flow and airway closure Excessive resistance to gas flow is the commonest and most important cause of ventilatory failure. Severe obstruction to breathing is life threatening and may arise anywhere from the smallest airways, through the tracheobronchial tree, larynx and pharynx to include external factors and any apparatus through which the patient may be breathing.

The time course is of the same order as the observed changes in pressure when lungs are held inflated at constant volume, and Marshall and Widdicombe (1961) concluded that the effect was due to stress relaxation. Influence of alveolar muscle. It is possible that sustained inflation might cause reduction in the tone of muscle fibres within the terminal airways and alveolar wall, resulting in changes similar to those of stress relaxation. Alveolar muscle is present in the alveolar wall of the cat but there is difference of opinion as to the importance of alveolar muscle in man.

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