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January 1963

Compliance of Lung During First Week of Life

Author Affiliations

J. E. Drorbaugh, M.D., Boston Lying-In Hospital, 221 Longwood Ave., Boston 15, Mass.; Clinical Associate in Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School (Dr. Drorbaugh); Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia (Dr. Segal); Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine (Dr. Sutherland); Assistant Director Pediatric Unit, St. Mary's Hospital Medical School, London (Dr. Oppe); Research Associate, Boston Lying-In Hospital (R. B. Cherry); Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School (Dr. Smith).; From the Department of Pediatries, Harvard Medical School and the Boston Lying-In Hospital.

Am J Dis Child. 1963;105(1):63-69. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1963.02080040065009

Pulmonary compliance has been defined by respiratory physiologists as the ratio of volume change to change in intrapleural pressure between points of no air flow (i.e., between the beginning and end of inspiration).* It is a mechanical characteristic of the lung and tells one roughly the volume change to be expected in a given lung when a unit pressure difference across the lung is developed by the muscles of respiration under static conditions. Compliance has been shown to be reduced in such clinical conditions as pulmonary fibrosis and congestive heart failure in adults,1 while a publication from this laboratory described a reduced compliance in newborn infants who had developed clinical signs of respiratory distress.2 In these conditions, a pathological process has decreased the expansibility of the lung per unit of force applied. The purpose of this report is to present a new technique for measuring tidal volumes and

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