Pulmonary Blood Flow

by Thad Wilson, PhD

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    In this lecture, we’re going to deal with pulmonary blood flow. We have a number of learning goals that we want to obtain. The first of these is is after this lecture, you’ll be able you understand the mechanism of pulmonary blood flow, both increases and decreases. After this lecture, you will also be able to identify the factors that affect pulmonary blood flow especially pulmonary artery pressure, lung volumes, hypoxia and gravity. Pulmonary blood flow can probably be best understood if we use a little bit of a compare and contrast approach. You are very familiar with the arterial circulation. And so in this, this is what everyone’s circulation is on the arterial side of the circuit, that’s from the left ventricle, all the way around to the capillaries. This is characterized by very high blood pressure, usually 120/80. There’s high resistance in this particular circuit. And the nice thing is, it’s carrying a lot of oxygen, having a high PaO2 and a very low PaCO2. After you go through a capillary bed, you’re going to extract O2 and give up CO2. So on the venous side of the circulation, the pressures are lower, the resistances are lower. You also have lower O2 and CO2. So that’s the systemic side of the circulation. If we compare now this to the pulmonary circulation, the pulmonary artery still has very low blood pressure. It has very low resistance, low O2. Why still low O2? It’s because it’s going from the right ventricle to the pulmonary vasculature to undergo gas exchange. It hasn’t gone through gas exchange yet, so O2 is still low. CO2 is high. But once you’ve gone through the lungs, on the pulmonary vein side, you have still low pressure, low resistance, but now you have oxygenation. So O2...

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Pulmonary Blood Flow by Thad Wilson, PhD is from the course Respiratory Physiology. It contains the following chapters:

    • Pulmonary Blood Flow
    • Effects of Pulmonary Artery Pressure
    • Effects of Lung Volume
    • Effects of Hypoxia
    • Learning Outcomes

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Decrease
    2. Increase
    3. Increase, then decrease
    4. Decrease, then increase
    1. Residual volume
    2. Total lung capacity
    3. Upper portion of tidal volume
    4. Lower portion of tidal volume
    1. Base
    2. Apex
    3. Zone 1
    4. Zone 2

    Author of lecture Pulmonary Blood Flow

     Thad Wilson, PhD

    Thad Wilson, PhD

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