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May 26, 1951

Pulmonary Ventilation and Its Physiological Regulation.

JAMA. 1951;146(4):413. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670040113042

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In this monograph the author explains and defends his quantitative theory as to the identity and relative importance of the variables that determine the frequency and depth of breathing in man. The theory is stated in general terms on pages 11 and 12. The three important variables are the tension of carbon dioxide, the tension of oxygen and the negative logarithm of the hydrogen ion concentration in the arterial blood. By assigning an appropriate weight to each of these three figures and then adding, one can obtain the figure for pulmonary ventilation (respiratory minute-volume). A closing section gives an illuminating discussion of the concept of sensitivity. This concept, as applied to the respiratory center, has often been invoked in previous attempts to make theories of respiration come out right; it tempts the physiologist much as "Kelly's constant" is said to tempt the engineer. The author neither accepts nor rejects this

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