Intrapleural pressure (cm H2O)
FIGURE 11 Regional differences in ventilation at FRC are caused by a gradient of intrapleural pressure down the lung as explained in the text. The base of the lung operates on a more compliant (steeper) part of the pressure-volume curve, so volume changes more at the bottom than at the top of the lung for the same intrapleural pressure change. (After West, Ventilation/blood flow and gas exchange, New York: Blackwell Scientific, 1990.)
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