Mathematical expression of the effects of changes in body size on pulmonary function and structure

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1983 Aug;128(2 Pt 2):S72-4. doi: 10.1164/arrd.1983.128.2P2.S72.


The biological meaning of the mass coefficient "a" and mass exponent "b" of the power function relating body mass "M" and a morphometric or physiologic variable "y" is discussed (y = aMb). The mass coefficient represents the effect of intensive or qualitative factors on the considered function or structure. The theoretical mass exponent is a criterion for the constancy of the mass coefficient and the qualitative sameness of the compared animals. The Theory of Homomorphism shows that the power function is a mathematical-physical model for analyzing structure and function in animals of different size.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight*
  • Lung / anatomy & histology
  • Lung / physiology*
  • Mathematics