23.03.2023 - 19:49

Why is intrapleural pressure more negative at the apex of the lung?

Question:

Why is intrapleural pressure more negative at the apex of the lung?

Answers (1)
  • Goldysmile
    April 3, 2023 в 14:21

    Intrapleural pressure refers to the pressure within the pleural cavity, which is the space between the lungs and the chest wall. The pressure within this space is normally negative, meaning it is lower than atmospheric pressure. This negative pressure helps keep the lungs inflated and allows for normal breathing.

    At the apex of the lung, the intrapleural pressure is more negative compared to the base of the lung. This is because the apex is farther away from the weight of the lung tissue and is subjected to less pleural pressure due to the smaller surface area of the apex. Additionally, the shape of the lung is conical, and the apex is narrower and more pointed, which results in a greater degree of curvature of the pleural surface. This curvature leads to a more negative intrapleural pressure at the apex, which helps keep the smaller airways open and improves ventilation.

    In summary, the intrapleural pressure is more negative at the apex of the lung due to the decreased weight of lung tissue and greater curvature of the pleural surface, which helps maintain the patency of the smaller airways and promotes normal ventilation.

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