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ERIC Number: EJ788526
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar
Pages: 4
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 11
ISSN: ISSN-1043-4046
Teaching Pulmonary Gas Exchange Physiology Using Computer Modeling
Kapitan, Kent S.
Advances in Physiology Education, v32 n1 p61-64 Mar 2008
Students often have difficulty understanding the relationship of O[subscript 2] consumption, CO[subscript 2] production, cardiac output, and distribution of ventilation-perfusion ratios in the lung to the final arterial blood gas composition. To overcome this difficulty, I have developed an interactive computer simulation of pulmonary gas exchange that is web based and allows the student to vary multiple factors simultaneously and observe the final effect on the arterial blood gas composition (available at In this article, the underlying mathematics of the computer model is presented, as is the teaching strategy. The simulation is applied to a typical clinical case drawn from the intensive care unit to demonstrate the interdependence of the above factors as well as the less-appreciated importance of the Bohr and Haldane effects in clinical pulmonary medicine. The use of a computer to vary the many interacting factors involved in the arterial blood gas composition appeals to today's students and demonstrates the importance of basic physiology to the actual practice of medicine. (Contains 3 figures and 2 tables.)
American Physiological Society. 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814-3991. Tel: 301-634-7164; Fax: 301-634-7241; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A