Respiratory Minute Volume in Health and Disease
Minute ventilation (or pulmonary ventilation, or respiratory
minute volume, or flow of air) is the volume of air that can be inhaled
(inhaled minute volume) or exhaled during one minute.
The calculation of minute ventilation is simple: MV=TV*Rf or minute
volume is equal to tidal volume (amount of air for one breath, ml)
multiplied by the respiratory frequency (number of breaths per minute).
This table shows normal minute ventilation (liters of air
per minute) in healthy subjects at rest (14 studies).
Table. Normal respiratory minute volume (healthy subjects only)
*Each row corresponds to a research paper or medical science article
||N. of subjects
|| Medical textbooks
||7.7 +- 0.3 l/min
||Douglas et al, 1982
||8.4 +- 1.3 l/min
||Smits et al, 1987
||6.1 +-1.4 l/min
||Fuller et al, 1987
||6.1 +- 0.9 l/min
||Tanaka et al, 1988
||7.0 +- 1.0 l/min
||Turley et al, 1993
||6.6 +- 0.6 l/min
||Bengtsson et al, 1994
||7.0 +-1.2 l/min
||Sherman et al, 1996
||Bell et al, 1996
||6 +- 1 l/min
||Parreira et al, 1997
||7.0 +- 1.1 l/min
||Mancini et al, 1999
||6.6 +- 1.1 l/min
||Pinna et al, 2006
||6.7 +- 0.5 l/min
||Pathak et al, 2006
||6.7 +- 0.3 l/min
||Gujic et al, 2007
||12 +- 2 l/min
Results of 18 studies
You can find references to these studies on healthy subjects here.
These research papers and medical science articles show that
healthy subjects have a very light and easy breathing. For details related pattern at rest,
generally corresponding to about 6-7 liters of air per min for their
normal minute ventilation values. Modern medical and physiological
textbooks provide values for the normal pulmonary ventilation, ranging
from 6 up to 9 liters of air per minute at rest for a 70-kg man.
However, it is clear that when the MV is higher than 10 L/min,
this is hyperventilation.
Normal ventilation leads to high (or normal) CO2 in the arterial
blood and body cells. As a result,
O2 transport is normal and they
have normal oxygen values in the brain, heart and other body organs and
Minute volume in normal subjects
Pulmonary ventilation values for modern "normal subjects" are
much higher, averaging at about 12 L/min.
Respiratory minute volume in people with chronic conditions
What do we know about minute ventilation rates in people with
Ideal pulmonary ventilation
If we imagine different automatic breathing patterns with different respiratory volume, we can find such a pattern that provides maximum body oxygen levels. We already know that overbreathing reduces body oxygenation due to vasoconstriction, and possibly due to the Bohr effect. However, one can breathe even slower and less than the medical norm for breathing at rest. How much less? You can find out the number X for the respiratory volume that maximizes oxygen levels in the human body. This number X is provided below as your bonus content.
List of all references: Minute Ventilation (or
Pulmonary Ventilation) in Healthy Subjects
Respiratory minute volume (From Wikipedia.org)
Respiratory minute volume (From ScienceDirect.com)
A Brief Discussion on Minute Ventilation (From DarylConant.com)
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