Medical Physiology, 3rd Edition

CHAPTER 30. Gas Exchange in the Lungs

Walter F. Boron

The complex anatomy of the pulmonary tree, the mechanics of the respiratory system, and the sophisticated carriage mechanisms for O2 and CO2 combine to serve two essential purposes: the ready diffusion of O2 from the alveoli to the pulmonary-capillary blood, and the movement of CO2 in the opposite direction. In this chapter, we consider principles that govern these diffusive events and factors that, in certain diseases, can limit gas exchange.

Diffusion of Gases

Diffusion and Perfusion Limitations on Gas Transport