Semistatic air volume-pressure (V-P) loops were recorded from 172 isolated lungs obtained from infants and children at necropsy. Technically unsatisfactory V-P loop behaviour and the presence of pathological changes led to the exclusion of 98 lungs. A further 10 lungs were excluded as it was decided to study the period of growth up to 90 cm crown-heel length. A total of 64 left lungs remained which were designated "normal". Control data were collected in an attempt to quantify the effects of storage and variations in inflation technique. A maximum inflation pressure of +30 cmH2O was used as a standard Pmax. The resulting maximum inflation volume (Vmax) data showed a cubic relation to the crown-heel length which deviated from the values obtained by the use of in-vivo regression equations. The extent and pattern of the deviation suggest that the technical factors are not a major contributory cause, and other explanations are discussed. The low-pressure proportional data from the deflation limb of the V-P curve are plotted against the crown-hell length, and the resulting curve is analysed. There is a sharp fall in the proportion of Vmax retained in the lung at +5 cmH2O and +2-5 cmH2O with increasing body length, but proportional volume at zero transpulmonary pressure follows the same growth-related pattern as Vmax.
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