Lung elasticity and age
The elastic properties of lung and thorax change during growth and aging. In adults the lung becomes gradually more flaccid: the pressure required to inflate the lung to the same volume diminishes. Also the relaxed lung volume, i.e. the volume when transpulmonary pressure is nil, increases. It is to be expected that residual volume will comprise a larger part of the total lung capacity, and that hence the vital capacity declines.
- From adolescence on the lung becomes more flaccid.
- As the lung becomes less elastic its resting volume (the volume at which the pressure difference across the lung is nil) increases.