Updated: 9/26/2017

Dead Spaces and Ventilation Rates

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Dead Spaces
  • Anatomic Dead Space
    • volume of conducting airways that does not participate in gas exchange
  • Physiologic Dead Space (VD
    • volume of airway and lungs that does not participate in gas exchange
      • anatomic dead space of conducting airways
      • functional dead space in alveoli
        • "ventilated alveoli that do not participate in gas exchange"
          • e.g., ventilation/perfusion (V/Q) mismatch
        • apex of lung is largest contributor of functional dead space
    • in normal lungs, physiologic dead space ≈ anatomic dead space
      • VD= physiologic dead space (mL)
      • TV = tidal volume (mL)
      • PaCO2 = PCO2 of arterial blood (mm Hg)
      • PECO2 = PCO2 of mixed expired air (mm Hg)

Ventilation Rates
  • Minute Ventilation
    • minute ventilation = TV x RR
      • TV = tidal volume (mL)
      • RR = respiratory rate (breaths/min)
  • Alveolar Ventilation
    • minute ventilation corrected for physiologic dead space
    • VA = (TV - VD) x RR

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