Lab

Vital Capacity

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Vital Capacity, VC

  • Definition
  1. Maximal volume expelled after maximal inspiration
  • Calculation
  1. Components (additive)
    1. Inspiratory Reserve Volume (IRV) +
    2. Expiratory Reserve Volume (ERV) +
    3. Tidal Volume (TV)
  2. Normal adult: 3 to 5 Liters
  3. Gender Differences (values are >80% of predicted)
    1. Females: 50 to 60 cc/kg
    2. Males: 70 cc/kg
  4. Advancing age after 20 years
    1. Vital Capacity decreases 200 to 250 cc per 10 years
  5. Calculations based on height
    1. Females: (27.63 - (0.112 x age)) x (height cm)
    2. Males: (21.78 - (0.101 x age)) x (height cm)
  6. Minimum (life sustaining): 15 cc/kg
  • References
  1. Rollings (1984) Facts and Formulas, p. 17-18
  2. Wilson (1991) Harrison's IM, McGraw-Hill, p.1033-6