The volume of gas that diffuses across the membranes between the alveoli and lung capillaries per minute per torr mean pressure difference. The pulmonary diffusion capacity represents the rate of diffusion of gas between the alveoli and the blood of the lung capillaries. It varies with many factors, but the surface area of contact between the alveoli and the blood in the pulmonary capillary is especially important. The pulmonary diffusion capacity for oxygen increases in an approximately linear manner with increasing workloads. It levels off at near maximum loads when it is up to three times more than at resting levels. Compared with non-athletes, trained athletes tend to have larger diffusion capacities at rest and during exercise.
Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.