While static mechanical forces govern resting lung volumes, dynamic forces determine tidal breathing, airflow, and changes in airflow and lung volume during normal and abnormal breathing. This section will examine the mechanisms, measurement methodology, and interpretation of the dynamic changes in airflow and lung volume that occur in health and disease. We will first examine how the total work of breathing can be described by the parameters of the equation of motion, which determine the pressure required to move air into and out of the lung. This will include a detailed description of airflow characteristics and airway resistance. Next, we will review the changes in pressure and flow that determine maximal forced inspiration and expiration, which result in the maximal flow-volume loop and the clinically important forced expired volume in 1 second. We will also assess the mechanisms and interpretation of bronchodilator responsiveness, dynamic hyperinflation, and airways hyperresponsiveness.
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