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Alveolar Ventilation and Anatomic Dead Space

What is meant by dead space? The lungs are linked to the atmosphere outside the body by a series of tubes: the trachea, bronchi, and bronchioles. Air must pass through these tubes to reach the alveoli but no gas exchange occurs in the passageways. Air remains in the trachea, bronchi, and bronchioles following inhalation or exhalation. This air is moved but is not involved in respiration. When estimating the rate of oxygen uptake it is necessary to subtract the volume of air occupying this dead space from the total volume of air that is inhaled.

View the animation below, then complete the quiz to test your knowledge of the concept.






1The pulmonary capillaries are able to be completely re-oxygenated at all except which of the following?
A)hypoventilation
B)hyperventilation
C)normal ventilation
D)hypoventilation and hyperventilation
E)all of the above



2Alveolar volume is equal to...
A)breaths per minute X breath volume
B)breaths per minute X dead space volume
C)breaths per minute X dead space volume X breath volume
D)breaths per minute X (breath volume – dead space volume)
E)breaths per minute X (breath volume + dead space volume)



3Minute ventilation is equal to...
A)breaths per minute X breath volume
B)breaths per minute X dead space volume
C)breaths per minute X dead space volume X breath volume
D)breaths per minute X (breath volume – dead space volume)
E)breaths per minute X (breath volume + dead space volume)



4The dead space volume of the lungs is directly proportional to the minute ventilation.
A)True
B)False



5The alveolar gas pressure of the lungs is directly proportional to the minute ventilation.
A)True
B)False







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