Lung Function In Health And Disease: Basic Concepts of Respiratory Physiology and Pathophysiology

Indexed in: Book Citation Index, Science Edition, EBSCO.

This reference presents basic concepts relevant to respiratory function in normal and diseased states.The volume stresses a quantitative approach to physical parameters used as indicators of normal ...
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Historical Background

Pp. 3-34 (32)

Camillo Peracchia


This chapter reviews major steps in the history of respiratory physiology, without laying claims to completeness. Throughout the centuries, the growth to present knowledge of pulmonary physiology and pathophysiology has not been a smooth steady climb, but rather a slow, often clumsy, walk punctuated by clever inventions, startling discoveries and amazing insights, but also by backward steps, misunderstandings, mistakes, controversies, rediscoveries, conflicts, prejudices and superstitions. In this brief review, we will travel in time from centuries before common-era to present, witnessing the progress of knowledge through periods such as the Greco-Roman era, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the 17th, 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries, the three golden decades of the 20th century (1940-1970) and beyond.


Acid-Base Balance, Alveoli, Animal Heat, Bohr Effect, Capillaries, Carbon Dioxide, Dead Space, 2, 3-Diphosphoglycerate (2, 3-DPG), Gas Diffusion, Haldane Effect, Hemoglobin, Inert-Gas-Elimination Technique, Lung-Chest Compliance, Lung Diffusion, O2-CO2 Diagram, Oxygen, Respiratory Centers, Surfactant, Three-Compartment-Model, Tissue Metabolism, Ventilation-Perfusion Distribution.


Department of Pharmacology and Physiology University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry 601 Elmwood Ave. Rochester, NY 14642-8711 USA