Physiologic growth and development of the lung during the first year of life

R. S. Tepper, W. J. Morgan, K. Cota, A. Wright, L. M. Taussig

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220 Scopus citations


Pulmonary function tests were performed on a total of 125 healthy infants younger than 25 postconception (pc) months of age. Maximal expiratory flow at functional residual capacity (V̇maxFRC) was measured from partial expiratory flow-volume curves, and functional residual capacity (FRC) was measured by the helium dilution technique. There was a highly significant (p < 0.01) linear regression for both V̇maxFRC and FRC with increasing body length. The highest size-corrected flows (V̇maxFRC/FRC) were obtained in the healthy premature (2.7 FRC/s, n = 6) and full-term (2.5 FRC/s, n = 5) infants, and there was a relatively constant value between 13 and 25 pc months of age (1.2 FRC/s), which was similar to those reported in older children and adults. In an age-matched group of infants 10 to 16 pc months of age, females had both higher absolute flows (126 versus 102 ml/s, p < 0.03) and size-corrected flows (1.4 versus 1.0 FRC/s, p < 0.001) than did males. These physiologic data support the concepts that (1) neonates have proportionately larger airways relative to their lung volume at FRC, (2) infants have size-corrected flows similar to those in older children and adults, and (3) female infants have proportionately larger airways relative to their lung size than do male infants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-519
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Review of Respiratory Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 19 1986


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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