Ventilation and Respiratory Mechanics
Published Online: 1 APR 2012
Copyright © 2011 American Physiological Society. All rights reserved.
How to Cite
Sheel, A. W. and Romer, L. M. 2012. Ventilation and Respiratory Mechanics. Comprehensive Physiology. 2:1093–1142.
- Published Online: 1 APR 2012
During dynamic exercise, the healthy pulmonary system faces several major challenges, including decreases in mixed venous oxygen content and increases in mixed venous carbon dioxide. As such, the ventilatory demand is increased, while the rising cardiac output means that blood will have considerably less time in the pulmonary capillaries to accomplish gas exchange. Blood gas homeostasis must be accomplished by precise regulation of alveolar ventilation via medullary neural networks and sensory reflex mechanisms. It is equally important that cardiovascular and pulmonary system responses to exercise be precisely matched to the increase in metabolic requirements, and that the substantial gas transport needs of both respiratory and locomotor muscles be considered. Our article addresses each of these topics with emphasis on the healthy, young adult exercising in normoxia. We review recent evidence concerning how exercise hyperpnea influences sympathetic vasoconstrictor outflow and the effect this might have on the ability to perform muscular work. We also review sex-based differences in lung mechanics. © 2012 American Physiological Society. Compr Physiol 2:1093-1142, 2012.