lung compliance

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This is a static measure of lung and chest recoil and is expressed as a change in lung volume per unit change in airway pressure e.g. litres/ cm H2O.

It may be thought of as the inverse of stiffness; ie an increase in stiffness leads to a reduction in compliance.

It is decreased in nearly all lung conditions except for emphysema, where it is increased.

Last reviewed 01/2018