A model evaluation of estimates of breath-to-breath alveolar gas exchange

G. D. Swanson, D. L. Sherrill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


A mathematical model has been implemented for evaluation of methods for estimating breath-to-breath alveolar gas exchange during exercise in humans. This model includes a homogeneous alveolar gas exchange compartment, a dead space compartment, and tissue spaces for CO2 (alveolar and dead space). The dead space compartment includes a mixing portion surrounded by tissue and an unmixed (slug flow) portion which is partitioned between anatomical and apparatus contributions. A random sinusoidal flow pattern generates a breath-to-breath variation in pulmonary stores. The Auchincloss algorithm for estimating alveolar gas exchange (Auchincloss et al., J. Appl. Physiol. 21: 810-818, 1966) was applied to the model, and the results were compared with the simulated gas exchange. This comparison indicates that a compensation for changes in pulmonary stores must include factors for alveolar gas concentration change as well as alveolar volume change and thus implies the use of end-tidal measurements. Although this algorithm yields reasonable estimates of breath-to-breath alveolar gas exchange, it does not yield a 'true' indirect measurement because of inherent error in the estimation of a homogeneous alveolar gas concentration at the end of expiration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1936-1941
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology Respiratory Environmental and Exercise Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology


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