CHANGES IN PULMONARY FUNCTION VALUES

The primary dysfunction of hyperinflation results in an increase in the residual volume (air that cannot be exhaled from the lungs even after a forced effort), which results in the overall increase in FRC. Increased residual volume means there is less effective air exhange.

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Forced expiratory manuevers accentuate the collapse of the airways, therefore the patient will have a very prolonged expiratory phase, not uncommon to exceed 6 seconds. While they may be able to eventually exhale a relatively normal VC - the time parameters of 1, 2 or 3 seconds will show greatly reduced volumes at those times in comparison to a normal person without obstruction. Airway collapse also limits exhaled flow rates so those parameters will also be reduced.

 

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