Flow Volume Loops

Fig. 70.1 A normal FVL


  1. 1.

    Draw a normal flow volume loop. Label the x- and y-axes. Where is the residual volume and total lung capacity located? Show where expiration and inspiration are represented.


  2. 2.

    Regarding patient effort, what is required from the patient for a flow volume loop to be accurate? What type of patients might have difficulty with a FVL?


  3. 3.

    Where is the peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) located on the FVL? What are the normal values for PEFR for adult females and males? Besides a respiratory problem, what are major influences on the PEFR?


  4. 4.

    Where does an FVL start? What direction does the FVL follow?


  5. 5.

    Draw an FVL for a patient with mild COPD. Describe some key characteristics. Explain what happens to the FVL whenever there is severe COPD.


  6. 6.

    Draw an FVL for a patient with vocal cord paralysis.


  7. 7.

    Explain what an FVL for a patient with a fixed obstruction such as a goiter looks like.


  8. 8.

    What does an FVL typically look like for restrictive lung disease?



Fig. 70.1a Normal flow volume loop with labels


  1. 1.

    Refer to Fig. 70.1a. The y-axis represents the flow rate. On this same axis exhalation is found in the area above the x-axis, and inhalation is represented below the x-axis. The lung volume is plotted on the x-axis and the value decreases from left to right. In other words, the x-axis starts at total lung capacity at the left end, and the volume decreases progressively until residual volume is reached at the far right.

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Sep 23, 2017 | Posted by in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Flow Volume Loops

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