Briefly describe the factors that affect lung compliance.
Main points/concepts expected in answer.
- Surfactant • increases lung compliance • decreases surface tension at alveolar air -water- interface •prevents small alveoli from collapsing •accounts for most of hysteresis in intact lung
- Lung elastic recoil • lung compliance changes in disease states
- Lung volume • lung compliance greatest around FRC • lung compliance reduced at low and high lung volumes • gravitational effects on regional lung compliance
- Pulmonary blood volume • pulmonary venous congestion reduces lung compliance
- Lung size • specific compliance = lung compliance / FRC
- Dynamic lung compliance • influenced by airways resistance • lung compliance measured during normal breathing • less than static lung compliance • frequency dependence
This brief but comprehensive examiner comment should serve as some sort of benchmark for what the rest of them should look like. Even though the pass rate for this question was 14%, the examiners did not waste time lamenting the intellectual poverty of their trainees. They just gave you the answer they expected, and left you to lambast yourself for getting it wrong.
There is little one can do to improve on the college answer. Using the Part One compliance section as a guide, the following tabulated alternative was produced:
|Lung compliance||Chest wall compliance|
Increased lung compliance
Increased chest wall complance
Decreased static lung compliance
Decreased dynamic lung compliance
Decreased chest wall compliance
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