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Normal alveolar Pco2

200 ml CO2/min

Normal alveolar Pco2

200 ml CO2/min

0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 Alveolar ventilation (L/min)

Figure 39-5

Effect of alveolar ventilation on the alveolar Pco2 at two rates of carbon dioxide excretion from the blood—800 ml/min and 200 ml/ min. Point A is the normal operating point.

to the rate of carbon dioxide excretion, as represented by the fourfold elevation of the curve (when 800 milliliters of CO2 are excreted per minute). Second, the alveolar Pco2 decreases in inverse proportion to alveolar ventilation. Therefore, the concentrations and partial pressures of both oxygen and carbon dioxide in the alveoli are determined by the rates of absorption or excretion of the two gases and by the amount of alveolar ventilation.

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