The Role of the Pulmonary Venous System in Regulation of Lung Capillary Blood Flow and Tissue Exchange

  • Grant de J. Lee
Part of the Ettore Majorana International Science Series book series (EMISS, volume 3)


The prime function of the lungs is to accomplish efficient gas exchange between the blood flow through the pulmonary capillaries and the air ventilating their relating alveoli. Normally this process occurs over an enormous cardiac output range from 5 litres per minute at rest to perhaps thirty litres per minute in extreme exercise . Yet the lung capillary blood volume probably never exceeds 200 millilitres (Roughton & Forster 1957) and blood flow is accomplished in such a manner that the intravascular pressures within the capillaries rarely exceed the plasma osmotic filtration pressure, so that the Starling relation between the vascular and extra vascular compartments of the lungs is maintained and pulmonary oedema is avoided.


Pulmonary Vein Left Atrium Left Atrial Pressure Lung Capillary Pulmonary Vein Flow 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Grant de J. Lee
    • 1
  1. 1.Cardiac DepartmentJohn Radcliffe HospitalOxfordEngland

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