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The composition of air in the atmosphere and in the alveoli differs. In both cases, the relative concentration of gases is nitrogen>oxygen>water vapor>carbon dioxide. The amount of water vapor present in alveolar air is greater than that in atmospheric air ( [link] ). Recall that the respiratory system works to humidify incoming air, thereby causing the air present in the alveoli to have a greater amount of water vapor than atmospheric air. In addition, alveolar air contains a greater amount of carbon dioxide and less oxygen than atmospheric air. This is no surprise, as gas exchange removes oxygen from and adds carbon dioxide to alveolar air. Both deep and forced breathing cause the alveolar air composition to be changed more rapidly than during quiet breathing. As a result, the partial pressures of oxygen and carbon dioxide change, affecting the diffusion process that moves these materials across the membrane. This will cause oxygen to enter and carbon dioxide to leave the blood more quickly.

Composition and Partial Pressures of Alveolar Air
Gas Percent of total composition Partial pressure
(mm Hg)
Nitrogen (N 2 ) 74.9 569
Oxygen (O 2 ) 13.7 104
Water (H 2 O) 6.2 40
Carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) 5.2 47
Total composition/total alveolar pressure 100% 760.0

Ventilation and perfusion

Two important aspects of gas exchange in the lung are ventilation and perfusion. Ventilation is the movement of air into and out of the lungs, and perfusion is the flow of blood in the pulmonary capillaries. For gas exchange to be efficient, the volumes involved in ventilation and perfusion should be compatible. However, factors such as regional gravity effects on blood, blocked alveolar ducts, or disease can cause ventilation and perfusion to be imbalanced.

The partial pressure of oxygen in alveolar air is about 104 mm Hg, whereas the partial pressure of the oxygenated pulmonary venous blood is about 100 mm Hg. When ventilation is sufficient, oxygen enters the alveoli at a high rate, and the partial pressure of oxygen in the alveoli remains high. In contrast, when ventilation is insufficient, the partial pressure of oxygen in the alveoli drops. Without the large difference in partial pressure between the alveoli and the blood, oxygen does not diffuse efficiently across the respiratory membrane. The body has mechanisms that counteract this problem. In cases when ventilation is not sufficient for an alveolus, the body redirects blood flow to alveoli that are receiving sufficient ventilation. This is achieved by constricting the pulmonary arterioles that serves the dysfunctional alveolus, which redirects blood to other alveoli that have sufficient ventilation. At the same time, the pulmonary arterioles that serve alveoli receiving sufficient ventilation vasodilate, which brings in greater blood flow. Factors such as carbon dioxide, oxygen, and pH levels can all serve as stimuli for adjusting blood flow in the capillary networks associated with the alveoli.

Ventilation is regulated by the diameter of the airways, whereas perfusion is regulated by the diameter of the blood vessels. The diameter of the bronchioles is sensitive to the partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the alveoli. A greater partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the alveoli causes the bronchioles to increase their diameter as will a decreased level of oxygen in the blood supply, allowing carbon dioxide to be exhaled from the body at a greater rate. As mentioned above, a greater partial pressure of oxygen in the alveoli causes the pulmonary arterioles to dilate, increasing blood flow.

Questions & Answers

write short notes on ligaments,curves and moverment of vertebral column.
mutesi Reply
what is the Analysis
ROHIT Reply
what is Anatomy
ROHIT Reply
it's a organs and bouns reading
AJITH
Cutting Up
Nonie
Cutting Up
Nonie
to dissect
Nonie
what usually cause blood pressurae
Abdullateef Reply
too much salt in the diet
Abuusu
older age
Abuusu
Even family history of high blood pressure
Abuusu
yes
Yaqub
too much salt in the diet
Yaqub
stress is the leading factor
Richard
smoking and too much alcohol consumption
Annu
obesity can also cause hypertension
Yaqub
high temperature of the body high salt of the body
Drs
how does the temperature affect the blood pressure?
Chidiebere
sex
Onavwie
What sex.?
Arshad
Male
Vikas
i mearnt gender,there's increased blood pressure in male than female
Onavwie
guys, read the question, involuntary pumping of heart causes the blood pressure in the arteries, he has not asked about high or low BP.
Jess
explain the cellular mechanism that produces tetanus and summation
Jenica Reply
epithelial cells polerity
jitendra Reply
tissues
Deepak
demonstrate the fluid replacement in the body
John Reply
the red blood cells is in the long bones or flat bones?
isbii
as age increases, the bone elongates .. will the joint vanish?
Sushruth Reply
what is anatomy?
Ivy Reply
structure
Allonda
discuss the organization of the body
Mwila Reply
explain the cellular mechanism that produces tetanus and summation
Chayanne Reply
explain why the muscle doesn't respond to low stimulus voltages
Chayanne
how would muscle contractions be affected if skeletal muscle fibers did have T - tubules?
Chayanne
tetanus is a disease caused by a bacteria causing rigidity and spasms of volutary muscles.. there is a prolonged construction of muscles caused by repeated stimuli
Marcus
muscles follow the "all or none law" when it comes to reponse to stimuli... muscle construction would have been affected because the T tubules are the conducting tracts that transport the or move the action potential in deporalizing the other parts of cell hence the muscle wont act as a single cell
Marcus
Skeletal muscle fibers do have t tubules that's how action potential propagates to spread throughout the muscle. Tetanus production is a phenomenon which is better explained in time rather then cellularly. Action potentials either separated in time or space are summated on the muscle and
Vikas
When the stimulus frequency hits more than 25 the individual twitches from the fibers summate and the muscle as a whole contracts. Cellulary, a good amount of calcium needs to be accumulated as is done by twitches adding together.
Vikas
what is the names of tarsus?
Fathia Reply
the region of the foot containing the seven tarsal bones.
Manja
the tarsal bones
Marcus
how the valves keep the blood moving in one direction?
Nonie Reply
They open and close during blood circulation,
Denis
Then valve open labb sound and valve close dabb sound
HARDIK
The valves for example the semilunar valves act to prevent back flow of blood from arteries to ventricles during ventricular diastole and help to maintain pressure on the major arteries .The aortic semilunar valve separate the left ventricle from opening of the aorta.
Denis
thank you
Nonie
😷
HARDIK
hi
Shakir
hello
Manja
Yes
kannan
what are estrogen and progesterone ? and their functions
Emmanuel
it's a body hormones and this is spread by women and it's can help to reproduction system...
HARDIK
yhe I also wana know
Lemasyanji
can we introduce ourselves and share contact?
Emmanuel
🤔
HARDIK
thanks
Emmanuel
i want ti study medicine.. what are the main course?
Emmanuel
Progesterone helps to maintain the endometrium wall which is later shed out of the body during the menstrual cycle
Smisha
Estrogen is another ovarian hormone which helps the primary follicle to develop into graafian follicle and cause ovulation
Smisha
what is decstro cardiac
priyanshi
Right sided heart in a guy
Vikas
Dextrocardia is a condition where the. heart lies in the right side of the thorax instead of the left and it occurs when the heart loops to the left instead of the right.
Idoko
hii
Vikas
can any talk me a scope of anatomy and physiology
Vikas
please
Vikas
It has valves that OPEN and close during circulation
xiao
What does the Thyroid gland means
Solomon Reply
It's a gland in your neck produces thyroid hormone maintains body metabolism
Vikas
how many joints are in the human foot?
Roghayeh Reply
I believe that is 33 joints
Ana
26 bones and 33 joints.
Amin
thank u.
Roghayeh
thanks
antouman

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Source:  OpenStax, Anatomy & Physiology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 04, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11496/1.8
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