Zones of the lung

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


The zones of the lung proposed by West in 1964,[1] divide the lung into three vertical regions, based upon the relationship between the pressure in the alveoli (PA), in the arteries (Pa), and the veins (Pv):

  • #1: alveolar > arterial > venous
  • #2: arterial > alveolar > venous
  • #3: arterial > venous > alveolar

The ventilation/perfusion ratio is higher in zone #1 (the apex of lung when a person is standing) than it is in zone #3 (the base of lung.)

References

  1. West J, Dollery C, Naimark A. "Distribution of blood flow in isolated lung; relation to vascular and alveolar pressures". J Appl Physiol. 19: 713–24. PMID 14195584.

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