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Lung mechanics in subjects showing increased residual volume without bronchial obstruction.

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  • Research Article


Fourteen subjects showing an increase of residual volume (RV) without any clinical or functional signs of bronchial obstruction were studied. Maximum expiratory flow volume (MEFV) curves were obtained with a pressure-corrected volume plethysmograph. Static pressure-volume curves were obtained by stepwise interruption of a slow expiration from total lung capacity (TLC) to RV. Static compliance was measured by the slope of pressure-volume curve between functional residual capacity (FRC) and FRC+20% of TLC. Maximum flow static recoil (MFSR) curves were constructed by plotting MEF obtained from MEFV curves against elastic pressure (Pst) obtained from pressure-volume curves at the same lung volumes. Most patients demonstrated a decrease of MEF 50% and 25% of VC. From the MFSR curves it was clear that this reduction was not the result of increased airways resistance, but rather of loss of elastic recoil. Most patients showed a significant decrease of Pst at different volumes and changes seem likely to be evidence of emphysema.

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