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Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense

  1. May 18, 2013 #1
    From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is initially negative then becomes positive above 30% of vital capacity when the lung volume increases from residual volume?

    What I initially thought was as the lung volume increases, the elasticity of the lung would increases (thus increasing elastic recoil pressure) because the lung is being stretched more. However I don't understand as to why should the elastic recoil pressure starts at such a negative value in the beginning?

    Can someone please help me clear up this confusion?

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. May 19, 2013 #2


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    Gold Member

    Wrong beginning.
    See the line resting respiratory level - approx 35% lung repiratory capacity, 48% total.
    That is where you are right now with your lungs, diaphram relaxed and not breating in or out.

    Exhale - you go below the line. Inhale you go above. Try some breathing to see where you are on the curve(s) and what you or your breathing apparatus has to do.
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