Physiology - Respiratory System

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Respiration

The process of gas exchange within the body; includes internal respiration and external respiration

Internal Respiration

Cellular respiration that occurs in the mitochondria

External Respiration

The exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the atmosphere and the tissues of the body; involves both the respiratory and cardiovascular systems

Pulmonary Ventilation

The movement of air into and out of the lungs by bulk flow

Upper Airways

Air passages in the head and neck; include the nasal cavity, oral cavity, and pharynx

Pharynx

A passageway leading from the mouth to the esophagus or larynx that serves as a common passageway for food and air

Respiratory Tract

Air passages leading from pharynx to lungs

Conducting Zone

The upper part of the respiratory tract; conducts air from the larynx to the lungs; no gas exchange occurs

Respiratory Zone

The lower part of the respiratory tract; the site of gas exchange within the lungs

Larynx

The initial passageway of the respiratory tract, which contains the vocal cords

Glottis

Opening to the larynx

Epiglottis

A flap of tissue over the glottis that prevents food or water from entering the larynx when swallowing

Trachea

Cartilaginous tube of the respiratory tract, located between the larynx and the bronchi

Bronchi

Branched tubes of the respiratory tract, located between the trachea and bronchioles of the lungs

Secondary Bronchi

Branches off the bronchi leading to the lungs

Bronchioles

Small tubules leading from the bronchi to the alveoli; less than 1 mm in diameter

Goblet Cells

Epithelial cells in the respiratory tract and GI tract that secrete mucus

Cillia

Hairlike processes found on certain epithelial cells in the respiratory tract and oviduct

Respiratory Bronchioles

Small tubules of the respiratory tract located between terminal bronchioles and alveolar ducts

Alveoli

Terminal sacs of the respiratory tract, where most gas exchange occurs; usually grouped in clusters

Alveolar Sacs

Clusters of alveoli at the end of an alveolar duct

Type I Alveolar Cells

Epithelial cells lining alveoli

Respiratory Membrane

The structure across which gas exchange occurs in the lungs; a barrier between blood and air consisting of capillary endothelial cells and their basement membranes and alveolar peithelial cells and their basement membranes

Chest Wall

Structures that protect the lungs and form an airtight compartment around them; includes the rib cage, sternum, thoracic vertebrae, muscles, and connective tissue

Internal Intercostals

Muscles of expiration that are located between the ribs

External Intercostals

Inspiratory muscles of the chest wall

Diaphragm

Primary inspiratory muscle for respiration; the muscular partition that separates the abdominal and thoracic cavities

Pleura

The membrane that lines the chest wall and lung, forming a pleural sac around each lung

Pleural Sac

membrane surrounding each lung

Intrapleural Space

A fluid-filled compartment located between the lungs and chest wall; is bounded by the visceral and parietal pleura

Atmospheric Pressure

Pressure of outside air; at sea level, 760 mm Hg or 1 atmosphere

Intra-alveolar Pressure

The pressure exerted by the air within the alveoli

Intrapleural Pressure

The pressure of the fluid inside the pleural space

Transpulmonary Pressure

The difference between the intrapleural pressure and the intra-aveoolar pressure, which represents the distending pressure acting on the lungs

Boyle's Law

Law showing the inverse relationship between pressure and volume

Pulmonary Surfactant

Detergent-like substance secreted by type II alveolar cells; decreases the surface tension in the lungs

Type II Alveolar Cells

Cells that line alveoli and secrete surfactant

Spirometer

Device for measuring lung volumes

Lung Volumes

Measures of the amount of air that enters or leaves the lungs under certain conditions

Tidal Volume (Vt)

The volume of air that moves into and out of the lungs during a normal, unforced breath

Inspiratory Reserve Volume (IRV)

The maximum volume of air that can be inspired from the end of a normal inspiration

Expiratory Reserve Volume (ERV)

The maximum volume of air that can be expired from the end of a normal expiration

Residual Volume (RV)

The volume of air remaining in the lungs after a maximum expiration

Inspiratory Capacity (IC)

The maximum volume of air that can be inspired at the end of a resting expiration; it is the sum of tidal volume and inspiratory reserve volume (IC = Vt + IRV)

Vital Capacity (VC)

The maximum volume of air that can be expired following a maximum inspiration; it is the sum of the tidal volume, inspiratory reserve volume, and expiratory reserve volume (VC = Vt + IRV + ERV)

Total Lung Capacity (TLC)

The volume of air in the lungs at the end of maximum inspiration; it is the sum of the tidal volume, inspiratory reserve volume, expiratory reserve volume, and residual volume (TLC = Vt + IRV + ERV + RV)

Functional Residual Capacity (FRC)

The volume of air remaining in the lungs at the end of a tidal expiration; it is equal to the expiratory reserve volume and the residual volume (FRC = ERV + RV)

Forced Vital Capacity (FVC)

The maximum amount of air a person can forcefully expire following a maximum inspiration

Forced Expiratory Volume (FEV)

A measure of the percentage of the forced vital capacity that can be exhaled within a certain time frame

Minute Ventilation

The total amount of air that flows into or out of the respiratory system in a minute

Respiration Rate

Frequency of breaths

Alveolar Ventilation

A measure of the volume of fresh air reaching the alveoli each minute, which is minute ventilation corrected for dead space volume; also called minute alveolar ventilation

Anatomical Dead Space

Conducting zone of the respiratory tract; air in this region does not participate in gas exchange

Respiratory Quotient

The ratio of carbon dioxide produced by the body to tthen consumed

Partial Pressure

The proportion of the pressure of an entire gas mixture that is due to the presence of an individual gas

Mixed Venous Blood

Blood in the pulmonary artery that includes a mixture of blood returning from all the systemic veins to the right atrium

Hyperpnea

An increase in ventilation to meet an increase in the metabolic demands of the body

Hypoventilation

A condition in which ventilation is insufficient to meet the metabolic demands of the body

Hyperventilation

A condition in which ventilation exceeds the metabolic demands of the body

Bohr Effect

Effect of hydrogen ions on the ability of hemoglobin to bind oxygen

Carbaminohemoglobin

Hemoglobin with carbon dioxide bound to it

Carbamino Effect

Decrease in the affinity of hemoglobin for oxygen when carbon dioxide binds to hemoglobin

Carbonic Anhydrase

Enzyme that catalyzes the reversible reaction converting carbon dioxide and water to carbonic acid

Chloride Shift

The movement of chloride ions into erythrocytes in exchange for movement of bicarbonate into plasma

Haldane Effect

Effect of oxygen on the binding of carbon dioxide to hemoglobin

Phrenic Nerve

Nerver that innervates the diaphragm

Intercostal Nerves

Spinal nerves that innervate the intercostal muscles of respiration

Inspiratory Neurons

CNS neurons that have an increased firing rate during inspiration

Expiratory Neurons

Neurons in the central nervous system that increase their firing rate during expiration

Ventral Respiratory Group (VRG)

Respiratory control center in the medulla; contains inspiratory and expiratory neurons

Dorsal Respiratory Group (DRG)

Respiratory control center located on the dorsal side of the medulla; contains primarily inspiratory neurons

Pontine Respiratory Group (PRG)

Respiratory center of the pons containing both inspiratory and expiratory neurons

Central Pattern Generator (CPG)

In the respiratory system, network of neurons responsible for establishing the breathing rhythm

Chemoreceptors

Receptors that monitor the concentration of certain chemicals in various locations in the body

Peripheral Chemoreceptors

Chemoreceptors located in the carotid arteries that respond to changes in arterial Po2, Pco2, and pH and are involved in regulating ventilation

Central Chemoreceptors

Chemoreceptors located in the medulla oblongata that respond directly to changes in hydrogen ion concentration in the cerebrospinal fluid and indirectly to arterial Pco2; function in regulating ventilation

Acidosis

Condition in which arterial blood pH is 7.35 or lower

Alkalosis

Condition in which arterial blood pH is 7.45 or higher

Respiratory Acidosis

Decrease in blood pH caused by increases in plasma carbon dioxide levels

Respiratory Alkalosis

Increase in blood pH caused by decreases in plasma carbon dioxide levels

Ventilation

Respiratory process by which gases are moved into and out of the lungs

Compliance

A measure of the ability of blood vessels or other hollow structures to stretch as the pressure inside them rises

Surface Tension

The result of an inward pull among the molecules of a liquid that brings the molecules on the surface closer together

Eupnea

Easy or normal breathing

Dyspnea

Difficulty breathing

Apnea

Temporary cessation of breathing

Buffer

A compound that prevents sharp, sudden changes in pH

Metabolic Acidosis

Decrease in blood pH in response to changes other than carbon dioxide levels

Metabolic Alkalosis

Increase in blood pH in response to changes other than carbon dioxide levels

Hypocapnia

Decreased level of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream

Hypercapnia

Increased amount of carbon dioxide in the blood

Hypoxia

A dangerous condition in which the body tissues and cells do not have enough oxygen

Cyanosis

Bluish discoloration of the skin caused by a lack of adequate oxygen

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