- Transmural pressure is alveolar pressure minus intrapleural pressure. -When the pressure outside of the lungs (i.e., intrapleural pressure) is negative, the lungs expand and lung volume increases.
- When the pressure outside of the lungs is positive, the lungs collapse and lung volume decreases.
- Inflation of the lung (inspiration) follows a different curve than deflation of the lung (expiration); this difference is called hysteresis.
- In the middle range of pressures, compliance is greatest and the lungs are most distensible.
- At high expanding pressures, compliance is lowest, the lungs are least distensible, and the curve flattens.
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