Pulmonary Function Tests

  • C. Straus
  • J. Similowski
  • J.-P. Derenne
  • M. Zelter


The lung has two basic simultaneous respiratory functions: the oxygenation of the incoming desaturated venous blood, and the removal of carbon dioxide and consequently of protons (H+) from this incoming blood. To perform this task adequately, both the ventilatory and the circulatory lung systems must be adapted one to another so that the ratio of the distribution of ventilation to perfusion is optimal. Ultimately, this ratio determines the functional quality of gas exchange. Apart from measurement of blood gases, there is no simple test available to give a general assessment of gas exchange in a given patient. Blood gas values, when abnormal, give no clue as to what aspect of lung function is impaired. Furthermore, these values tend to become abnormal only in the late or acute phase of lung diseases, because of the remarkable flexibility of ventilation-perfusion control.


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Lung Volume Forced Vital Capacity Pulmonary Function Test Respiratory Muscle 
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© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Straus
  • J. Similowski
  • J.-P. Derenne
  • M. Zelter

There are no affiliations available

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