USMLE Step 1 Respiratory Physiology Review 60 06 Boyle’s Law

USMLE Step 1 Respiratory Physiology Review 60 06 Boyle’s Law

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Play USMLE Audio MP3 60 06 Boyle’s Law Below

Begin 60 06 Boyle’s Law Transcription

As we have already said the outside surface of the lungs is more or less glued to the inside of the thorax. Thus, any expansion or contraction of the thorax will affect lung volume.

How does an expansion of the walls of the thorax affect lung volume?

When the thorax expands, lung volume is increased.

How does a contraction of the thorax affect lung volume?

Lung volume is decreased when the thorax contracts.

When the pressure of a gas is multiplied by its volume, the product is a constant. Therefore, the pressure of a gas is inversely proportional to its volume. Whose law is this?

Boyle’s law.

What will happen to the pressure of a gas inside a certain structure if the volume of that structure is increased?

As the volume of a structure increases, the pressure of the gas it contains will decrease.

What happens to the gas pressure inside the lungs as their volume increases when the thorax expands?

The gas pressure inside the lungs falls below atmospheric pressure as lung volume increases when the thorax expands.

What happens when the pressure of the air in the alveoli of the lungs becomes sub atmospheric or falls below the pressure of the air in the atmosphere?

Lower pressure in the air of the lungs causes gas to flow from the environment to the alveoli.

Student doctor please pause the tape and summarize what has been discussed about lung volume, Boyle’s Law, and air pressure during inspiration.

The outside of the lungs are more or less glued to the inside of the thorax. Expansion of the thorax increases lung volume and contraction of the thorax decreases lung volume. Boyle’s Law says that when the pressure of a gas is multiplied by its volume its product is a constant. Therefore, the pressure of a gas is inversely proportional to its volume. As the volume of a structure increases, the pressure of the gas it contains will decrease. Due to increased lung volume during thoracic expansion, the pressure of the gas inside the lungs falls below atmospheric pressure. Lower pressure in the air of the lungs causes gas to flow from the environment to the alveoli.

****END OF TRANSCRIPTION****

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