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By J. F. Nunn (Auth.)

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This may be observed in bubbles in water under the coverslip of a microscope. The rate of shrinkage of the bubbles increases progressively until they vanish abruptly when the radius of curvature has reached a critical value. At this stage, the pressure within the bubble has become so high that the gas is rapidly driven into solution. This does not occur if surfactant is present when there is an indefinite delay in the final disappearance of very small gas bubbles. The same effect would delay the absorption of gas from obstructed alveoli of small size.

Disease. Important changes in lung pressure/volume relationships are found in certain lung diseases. Emphysema is unique in that static pulmonary compliance is increased, as a result of destruction of pulmonary tissue and loss of both elastin and surface retraction. The FRC is increased. 6, and therefore the dynamic compliance is commonly reduced. In asthma the pressure/volume curve is displaced upwards without a change in compliance (Finucane and Colebatch, 1969). The elastic recoil is nevertheless reduced at normal transmural pressure and the FRC is therefore increased.

The simple relationship for laminar flow given above would then be extended as follows: pressure difference = kx (flow) + k2 (flow) 2 ki contains the factors of the Hagen-Poiseuille equation while k2 includes factors in the corresponding equation for turbulent flow. 3 (flow) 2 n The exponent . Over a surprisingly wide range of flow rates, the equation above may be condensed into the following single-term expression with little loss of precision: pressure gradient = Κ (flow)" n The exponent has a value ranging from 1 with purely laminar flow to 2 with purely n turbulent flow, the value of being a useful indication of the nature of the flow.

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