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alveolar pressure at end of inspiration

equals Patm

for expiration

Palv must exceed Patm

if decrease volume of thoracic cavity

Palv will increase and outward flow of air can occur

expiration may be

active or passive

forces that act on the respiratory system

active and passive - both will affect Palv


recoil force of lung-thorax unit - quiet breathing


applied muscle force

Passvie Forces of Exhalation

gravity, relaxation, elasticity, torque - cause the lungs to recoil


pulls rib cage downward


of the contracting muscles, including the diaphragm (returns to dome shape)


of the respiratory tissues and lungs


of the ribs (ribs untwist as they return to their original positions

As volume decreases

Palv surpasses Patmos & air rushes out of the lungs

Palv needs to become



relaxes back to its dome shape - Decreases vertical dimension

External intercostals

relax - Decreases front-to-back and side-to-side dimensions


size decreases b/c of elastic recoil

positive flow

air moving out

negative flow

air moving in

Active forces of exhalation

Contraction of abdominal muscles during speech

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