Why lungs have more negative intrapleural pressure at the apex

In summary, the conversation discusses the idea of gravity being the cause of a certain effect, but the speaker does not understand how this could be possible. They ask for a link to further explain, but the other person suggests that biology textbooks do not usually use the concept of gravity and that visual aids may be more helpful in understanding.
  • #1
in some books it is written that it is because of gravity but i can't understand how gravity can cause such a effect
 
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  • #2
keep@science said:
in some books it is written that it is because of gravity but i can't understand how gravity can cause such a effect
Can you provide a link that discusses this?
 
  • #4
Biology textbooks rarely use the term gravity to explain mechanisms and Professors don't always take kindly to students using vocabulary or concepts from other disciplines...

The external intercostal muscles are fixed on the superior end of the ribs, the ribcage is pulled upwards upon contraction, which increases negative pressure. Looking at a diagram may help you understand (or take A & P I). It is difficult to understand functions in the body without visual models to show relations, it certainly isn't something you can easily get by only reading text.
 
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1. Why do lungs have more negative intrapleural pressure at the apex?

The negative intrapleural pressure at the apex of the lungs is due to the effect of gravity. As the lungs expand with inhalation, the weight of the lung tissue pulls downwards, creating a more negative pressure at the top of the lungs. This negative pressure helps to keep the lungs inflated and allows for efficient gas exchange.

2. How does negative intrapleural pressure at the apex affect breathing?

The negative intrapleural pressure at the apex is crucial for efficient breathing. It helps to keep the lungs inflated, allowing for a greater surface area for gas exchange. This negative pressure also creates a pressure gradient, which is necessary for air to flow into the lungs during inhalation.

3. Is the negative intrapleural pressure the same throughout the lungs?

No, the negative intrapleural pressure is not the same throughout the lungs. It is more negative at the apex and becomes less negative towards the base of the lungs. This gradient is necessary for efficient breathing and gas exchange.

4. What happens to the negative intrapleural pressure during exhalation?

During exhalation, the negative intrapleural pressure decreases as the lungs recoil and decrease in size. This decrease in pressure helps to expel air out of the lungs. However, the pressure at the apex remains more negative compared to the base, helping to keep the lungs partially inflated and ready for the next inhalation.

5. Can anything disrupt the negative intrapleural pressure at the apex?

Yes, certain medical conditions or injuries can disrupt the negative intrapleural pressure at the apex. For example, a puncture to the chest wall can equalize the pressure inside and outside of the lungs, making it difficult for them to expand and causing a collapsed lung. Certain lung diseases can also affect the negative intrapleural pressure and make breathing more difficult.

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