Pulmonary physiology – Alveolar-arterial gradient – depicted



Depiction of the alveolar-capillary unit representative of the alveolar-arterial gradient and easily and quickly

defined by the PaO2 / FiO2 ratio (P/F ratio).

As the distance between the alveolus and the capillary increases, it is referred to as an “widening ” of the A-a gradient.

Many things can occupy this potential space :  water, blood, infection (bacteria) as well as thickening membranes.

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