Pulmonary Physiology, Pulmonary Circulation, Dr. D. Penney

Table 6.01. Comparison of pulmonary and systemic hemodynamic variables during rest and exercise of moderate severity in normal adult man.

Table 6.01 and Figure 6.01 (next page) show that, in contrast to the systemic circulation, the pulmonary circulation is a low pressure, low resistance, high compliance system.

Both major circulations have the same blood flow rates since they are in series with one another, but pulmonary vessels are wider and do not show the thick muscular coats as in systemic vessels.

The pulmonary system serves only the lung, a much smaller mass of tissue than the rest of the body served by the systemic circulation. Thus, pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) is much lower than its systemic counterpart.

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