Distribution of ventilation in normal children

Chest. 1979 Dec;76(6):658-62. doi: 10.1378/chest.76.6.658.


Measurements of closing volume and the distribution fo ventilation by both single-breath (SBN2) and multiple-breath nitrogen washout methods were obtained in 376 healthy boys and girls, ages 6 to 18 years. A closing volume could be demonstrated in 39 percent of the subjects, and closing volume expressed as percentage of vital capacity did not change with height. Closing capacity expressed as percentage of total lung capacity showed a slight decrease with height. The slope of phase III of the SBN2 curve decreased with height. Single compartment N2 washout curves were observed in 72 percent of the subjects, and the incidence of single compartment curves increased with age. In those subjects with two compartment N2 washout curves, the relative compartmental ventilation became more even with increasing height. Our observations suggest that parallel units among peripheral airways grow at different rates.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Body Height
  • Body Weight
  • Child
  • Closing Volume*
  • Female
  • Functional Residual Capacity
  • Humans
  • Lung Volume Measurements*
  • Male
  • Nitrogen
  • Oxygen
  • Respiration*
  • Respiratory Function Tests*
  • Vital Capacity


  • Nitrogen
  • Oxygen