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Chapter 1

Objective :Anatomy

RESPIRATORY
SYSTEM
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Physiology
Overview
Respiratory

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Diseases

Respiration is the process of making energy


available to organisms and their living cells
through enzyme controlled catabolic
breakdown of organic molecules, especially
hexose sugars.

Types of Respiration
The classification depends upon the availability of oxygen and thus it has
been divided into two categories.
(a) Aerobic Respiration: It takes place in presence of oxygen and the
stored food (respiratory substrata) gets completely oxidised into carbon
dioxide and water as end products.
(b) Anaerobic-respiration: It takes place in absence of oxygen and
stored food is incompletely oxidised and instead of carbon dioxide and water
certain other compounds are also formed. This type of respiration is of rare
occurrence but common among micro organisms like yeasts.

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fOUR LIFE

Humans perform Aerobic Respiration


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Human Respiratory System


It consists of a respiratory tract, a pair of lungs and structures involved in ventillation.
Respiratory tract consists of external nares, nasal cavity, internal nares, nasopharynx,
larynx, trachea, bronchi and bronchioles.

External Nares (Nostrils): They are a pair of slit-like openings present on the lower end of
nose.
Nasal Cavity: It is situated between palate and cranium. Nasal cavity is divisible into two
nasal chambers by a nasal septum. Each nasal chamber has three parts.
Vestibule: It is lower small part just above the external nares which is lined by skin and
bears hair as well as oil glands. Hair help in filtering out dust particles from incoming air.

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The external intercostal muscles connect adjacent ribs. When they contract the ribs are
pulled upward and forward causing further increase in the volume of the thoracic cavity. As
a result fresh air flows along the branching airways into the alveoli until the alveolar
pressure equals to the pressure at the airway opening.
Lung: A pair of conical spongy elastic lungs of pinkish to salty grey colour occur inside air

tight thoracic cavity. Left lung is slightly narrower and longer than the right one. Right lung
has three lobes, left lung has two lobes. Each lobe is divided internally into segments and
segments into lobules. A lobule receives a terminal bronchiole. Terminal bronchiole
produces a few respiratory bronchioles. A respiratory bronchiole give rise to 2-11 alveolar
ducts, each of which ends in an alveolar sac. The latter has a number of small pouches
named alveoli or air sac. Blood capillaries occur on the surface of alveoli for gaseous
exchange.
Diaphragm: It is a membranouus musculo-tendinous partition between thorax and
abdomen. Phrenic muscles attach diaphragm to ribs and vertebral column. Contraction of
muscles straighten the diaphragm to increase thoracic cavity. There are two sets of
Intercostal Muscles: (i) external intercostal for normal inspiration and expiration (ii) internal
intercostal for forceful expiration.

THE MECHANISM OF BREATHING


INSPIRATION:
Inspiration is the active part of the breathing process, which is initiated by the respiratory
control centre in medulla oblongata (Brain stem). Activation of medulla causes a contraction
of the diaphragm and intercostal muscles leading to an expansion of thoracic cavity and a
decrease in the pleural space pressure. The diaphragm is a dome-shaped structure that
separates the thoracic and abdominal cavities and is the most important muscle of
inspiration. When it contracts, it moves downward and because it is attached to the lower
ribs it also rotates the ribs toward the horizontal plane, and thereby further expands the
chest cavity.
In normal quite breathing the diaphragm moves downward about 1 cm but on forced
inspiration/expiration total movement could be up to 10 cm.
When it is paralysed it moves to the opposite direction (upwards) with inspiration,
paradoxical movement.

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Respiratory System - 3

The external intercostal muscles connect adjacent ribs. When they contract the ribs are
pulled upward and forward causing further increase in the volume of the thoracic cavity. As
a result fresh air flows along the branching airways into the alveoli until the alveolar
pressure equals to the pressure at the airway opening.

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Expiration
Expiration is a passive event due to elastic recoil of the lungs. However, when a great
deal of air has to be removed quickly, as in exercise, or when the airways narrow
excessively during expiration, as in asthma, the internal intercoastal muscles and the
anterior abdominal muscles contract and accelerate expiration by raising pleural
pressure.

COUPLING OF THE LUNGS AND THE CHEST WALL


The lungs are not directly attached to the chest wall but they change their volume and shape
according to the changes in shape and volume of the thoracic cavity. Pleura covering the
surfaces of the lungs (visceral) or the thoracic cavity (parietal) together with a thin (20 m)
layer of liquid between them create a liquid coupling.

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OVERVIEW

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GAS EXCHANGE

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Regulation of Breathing
1. Breathing is so important that your body will not let you have complete control of it.
2. Breathing is controlled by the medulla oblongata in the lower part of the brain, though,
obviously, you can temporarily suppress this reflex. The diving reflex (not breathing when
your face is submerged particularly in cold water) is found even in babies, and allows them
to be bathed and swim (under supervision) with complete security.
3. Although you can hold your breath for a while, you cannot die this way. You can only hold
your breath until you lose consciousness - then the brain takes control and normal
breathing resumes.
4. The concentration of oxygen in the blood has little effect on breathing rate and you can
suffocate in a low oxygen environment (e.g. on a mountain or in a plane when the
pressurisation fails.)
5. Breathing is controlled by the levels of CO2 and H+ ions in the blood. These are measured
in two places in the neck (carotid arteries) and just outside the heart (aorta). These regions
have swollen areas known as sinuses which also measure blood pressure. Nerves lead from
these regions to the hypothalamus (hind-brain), which controls most aspects of
homeostasis.

Lung Volumes

TABLE 12.1

Lung volumes and capacities

Volume or capacit~

Definition

Tidal volume (TV)

The tidal volume Is the amount of air moved In


a normal breath (Inspired or expired) at rest

lnsplratory reserve
volume (IRV)

The lnsplratory reserve volume ls the


amount of air that can be forcefully Inspired
beyond the amount Inspired In a normal
breath at rest.

3,000 ml

Expiratory reserve
volume (ERV)

The expiratory reserve volume Is the


amount of air that can be forcefully expired
beyond the amount expired In a normal
breath at rest.

1,100 ml

Residual volume
(RV)

The residua I volume Is the amount of air In


the lungs that cannot be moved.

1,200 ml

Functional residual
ca paclty (FRC)

The functional residual capacity Is the


amount of air remaining In the lungs after
the expiration of a normal breath at rest.
FRC = ERV + RV.

2,300 ml

lnsplratory capacity
(IC)

The lnsplratory capacity ls the maximum


amount of air that can be Inspired after
the expiration of a normal breath at rest.
IC =TV+ IRV.

3,500 ml

Vital capacity (VC)

Vltal capacity ls the maximum amount of air


that can be moved. VC =IC+ FRC.

4,600 ml

Total lung capacity


(TLC)

The total lung capacity ls the maximum


amount of air the lung can hold.
TLC= VC + RV.

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iTyP.ical valu~

500 ml

5,800 ml

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