Allometric respiration/body Mass Data for Animals to Be Used for Estimates of Inhalation Toxicity to Young Adult Humans

J Appl Toxicol. Jul-Aug 2000;20(4):273-90. doi: 10.1002/1099-1263(200007/08)20:4<273::aid-jat657>;2-x.


The relationship between body weight (BW) and respiratory minute volume (V(m)) was reviewed by collecting a database from the literature. The data were separated into anaesthetized and non-anaesthetized groups. Only young adult terrestrial mammals were included in the final data set. This database is the largest to be reported to date, is the first to separate the anaesthetized and non-anaesthetized groups and is matched to the target population of young, fit adult humans. The data set of non-anaesthetized animals contained 142 studies representing 2616 animals and 18 species from mice at 12 g body weight to horses and a giraffe at ca. 500 kg body weight. Analysis of the data indicated a power law (allometric) relationship between the minute volume and body weight. The resulting allometric equations for the empirical relationship between minute volume and body weight are: log(10)V()(m)= -0.302 + 0.809 log(10)BW and V(m) = 0.499 BW(0.809)where V(m) is the minute volume (l min(-1)) and BW is the body weight (kg). From these equations, a minute volume of 15.5 lmin(-1)was obtained for a 70 kg human in the same physiological and/or emotional state as the animals. The results of the analyses were compared to other empirical studies in the literature, the more recent of which also indicated a scaling factor of 0.8. The relationship between minute volume and body weight is recommended for use in estimating the inhalation toxicity to young adult humans (military personnel), because this is the first study to use a large database focused exclusively upon non-anaesthetized young adult terrestrial mammals.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anesthesia
  • Animals
  • Animals, Laboratory
  • Body Weight*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inhalation Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Reference Values
  • Respiration*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Species Specificity
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Toxicity Tests / standards*