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Lung Volumes and Capacities

The amount of air in the lungs can be subdivided into four (4) volumes and four (4) capacities.

Respiratory (lung) volumes:

  1. image descriptionTidal volume (TV) is the amount of air that can be inhaled and exhaled during one normal (quiet) breathing cycle (about 500 ml for men & women).
Tidal Volume Animation
Tidal Volume Animation
Tidal Volume Animation
Tidal Volume Animation
Tidal Volume Animation
Tidal Volume
  1. image descriptionInspiratory reserve volume (IRV) is the amount of air that can be forcibly inhaled beyond a tidal inhalation (about 3,000 ml for men & 2,000 ml for women).
Inspiratory Reserve Volume Animation
Inspiratory Reserve Volume Animation
Inspiratory Reserve Volume Animation
Inspiratory Reserve Volume Animation
Inspiratory Reserve Volume Animation
Inspiratory Reserve Volume Animation
Inspiratory Reserve Volume Animation
Inspiratory Reserve Volume
  1. image descriptionExpiratory reserve volume (ERV) is the amount of air that can be forcibly exhaled beyond a tidal exhalation (about 1200 ml for men & 700 ml for women).
Expiratory reserve volume
Expiratory reserve volume
Expiratory reserve volume
Expiratory reserve volume
Expiratory reserve volume
Expiratory reserve volume
Expiratory reserve volume
Expiratory reserve volume
Expiratory reserve volume
Expiratory reserve volume
Expiratory Reserve Volume
  1. Residual Volume (RV) (see image below)–  the amount of air remaining in the lungs after an ERV (= about 1,200 ml in men & women).
  2. Respiratory (lung) capacities (= two or more respiratory volumes added together):1. Inspiratory capacity = TV + IRV.

    2. Functional reserve capacity = ERV + RV.

    3. Vital capacity (see image below) = TV + IRV + ERV.

    4. Total lung capacity = RV + VC.

Residual Volume