This chapter is most pertinent to Section F6(v) from the 2017 CICM Key Syllabus, which expects the exam candidates to be able to "define dead area and its components". This has come up twice in the past papers:

Each time the components of dead area were asked around. Occasionally the candidates are asked about the different methods of measuring dead room. Occasionally, about exactly how raising the dead space volume affects respiratory function. So much, nobody has actually been asked around the physiological components which influence dead area, but surely that time will at some point come.

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In summary:

Dead area is the fractivity of tidal volume which does not get involved in gas exreadjust.It is written of apparatus dead room and also physiological dead space:Apparatus dead space is the dead room in an artifical breapoint circuitIt can rise the complete dead space:Mechanical ventilation utilizing a huge NIV maskIt deserve to mitigate the complete dead spaceUse of ETT (smaller sized volume than the top airway)Tracheostomy (bypass the top airmethod altogether)Physiological dead space is measured utilizing the Enghoff change of Bohr"s equation, making use of arterial CO2 rather of eexhaled CO2, and also it is composed of:Alveolar dead spaceThe difference between the physiological dead room and also the anatomical dead spaceThis is the volume of gas which fills lung units which are unperfused or poorly perfusedWests" Zone 1 contain alveolar dead space.Under normal circumstances, this volume is minimal. Anatomical dead space Measured by Fowler"s methodRepresented by Phase I and fifty percent of Phase II in the single-breath nitrogen washout test.Represents the volume of gas in the conducting airwaysShunt,  once massive, deserve to produce the illusion of boosted Enghoff dead space bereason it rises arterial CO2 

The single finest peer-reviewed resource for this topic is probably Roberts (2015). For a nice historical perspective, one might shed oneself in Robert Klocke"s essay "Dead space: Simplicity to complexity" (2006). If one have the right to acquire a hold of it, the short article by Hedenstierna & Sandhagen (2006) is also valuable bereason it reaches past the normal anatomical-alveolar-apparatus trichotomy to discover weird new dead spaces almost everywhere the area. In order to access it (as it will not display up in normal search results) one needs to dig it out of the Minerva Anaesthesiologica archive, wbelow it is freely easily accessible to anybody who can answer a CAPTCHA. 

Definition of dead space

Ward S. Fowler (1948), as a part of an advent to his write-up, wisely counsels that "because the terminology supplied by various writers is not unicreate, it seems advisable to clarify the definition of dead room." This advice continues to be existing. Though, prefer obscenity, everybody knows it once they see it, once asked to formally specify dead space many civilization will certainly actually offer an interpretation for one of its components, generally anatomical dead room (this is true also of published authors). 

The author of term is primarily believed to be Christian Bohr (1891), who referred to it as "schädlichen Raumes" (literally "the harmful space"). The first time it described as "dead" was apparently by Haldane in 1895. Neither of these at an early stage pioneers had given a lot thought to the fact that civilization would need to remember this thing for their exams, and also so nobody really focused on making a short pithy definition. In fact nobody had actually also settled on an main name to speak to it, as sixty years later on Rossier & Bühlmann (1955) were still complaining that

"despite the acceptance of the term ‘dead space’ by most physiologists, tbelow are neverthemuch less some that this day still call it ‘noxious space’ (‘earea nuisible,’ ‘schadlicher Raurn’), ‘volumales inefficax’ and so on." 

Fortunately, the summary paragraphs from Nunn"s (8th ed) offer a fantastic one-liner which is definitive as far as CICM First part preparation is concerned:

Dead room is the fractivity of tidal volume which does not take part in gas exadjust.

This is a perfect method of wording it, bereason takes right into account the usual proportional connection of dead room and also minute ventilation, where: 

Alveolar ventilation = Resp rate × (tidal volume - dead space)

In short, "alveolar ventilation" is the volume of gas which did somepoint beneficial on its method with the lungs, and also dead room ventilation is the volume which did not. This volume of usemuch less gas has actually three primary components: apparatus dead room, anatomical dead area and alveolar dead space. Tright here are a few others, but they occupy a weird fringe at the boundaries of the passing mark, and also unless one really wants to wreck the CICM grading bell-curve one really does not need to think about them. For visual learners, one might represent these dead spaces in the create of an illustration:


Physiological dead space

Physiological dead space is the combicountry of the anatomical and also alveolar dead space components. Rather than representing it as a volume in ml/kg, it is better to reexisting it as a fraction of the tidal volume (or minute volume), largely because it tends to adjust along with the tidal volume. The normal worths for this tfinish to differ throughout textpublications, yet they all seem to autumn into the ballpark of 20-30%. Henrik Enghoff"s original 1938 paper offered 34% as the average value.


 From a useful standsuggest, physiological dead room is the thing you"re measuring using the Enghoff change of the Bohr equation, which is essentially just the difference between arterial and also combined expired pCO2 separated by the arterial pCO2. Here is a visual depiction of this, for an example which will certainly be offered later:


Keep in mind that the PECO2 is not the end tidal pCO2, yet the combined expired pCO2. The distinction is rather extensive. The blended expired pCO2 is the worth you"d obtain if you gathered all the expired gas into a bag, wright here it can mix strongly and come to be homogeneous. For a normal person, the blended expird pCO2 is normally somepoint prefer 25 mmHg (Hansen et al, 2007)

So anyway: the physiological is a virtual area, developed by the have to simplify the conversation of the lung as being composed of 2 compartments, one of which is entirely unperfsupplied. This oversimplification leads down weird methods, for example where the presence of shunt can develop the appearance of dead area. However before, it is primarily welcomed as a solid means to approximate the dead area fractivity bereason it is so convenient (arterial blood gases being extensively available), in comparison to other approaches.

Anatomical dead space

Of the dead room compartments, this one was uncovered first, probably because the concept of alveolar dead room is more difficult to intuit than the idea that the trachea exchanges no gas. Thus, by 1882, Nathan Zuntz had the ability to measure the conducting airway volume in cadavers, and propose that this fraction of the tidal volume most likely plays no function in ventilation. 

 Nunn"s (8th ed), in a quick-revision summary section, defines anatomical dead space as:

"the volume of the air passperiods through which the gas is performed to the alveoli"

In brief, this volume encompasses from the lips and vibrissae to the innermost terminal bronchioles. This definition, though anatomically descriptive, stops working to describe the relationship between the 2 components of physiological dead space. It would certainly probably be much better to define it as 

"the volume of gas exhaled before the CO2 concentration rises to its alveolar plateau"

This is also from Nunn"s. It is an excellent practical meaning, yet it somehow fails to capture the means the conducting airmethods exadjust no gas, which is a pretty main element. Also, by the moment the CO2 concentration rises to its alveolar plateau, one is no longer talking around dead space, i.e. the meaning would certainly encompass both physiological and also anatomical dead area. At risk of including one more pointless definition, one possible means to reword this would certainly be:

"Anatomical dead space is the portion of dead space which is exterior to the alveoli, consisting of mostly conducting airmethods, and stood for by Phase I and fifty percent of Phase II in the single-breath nitrogen washout test"

Anymethod. Given the name, one might surmise that the volume of anatomical dead space is most likely affected by some anatomical components. These are:

Lung volume: bereason as the lung inflates, neighbouring alveoli will certainly pull on the smaller sized airways by traction, and boost their diameter. This could be some trivial change for any kind of single given bronchiole, yet because there are thousands of them, it all builds up. Because of this, tbelow is some varicapacity of the anatomical dead area over one"s necessary capacity, though it is not as excellent as the variability of the alveolar dead room.

Anatomical dead area is likewise influenced by flow characteristics during respiration, which is cheating in a means. Though under these circumstances the actual dimension and also form of the conducting airways remains mainly the same, the changes in gas flow can produce instances where the apparent dead area volume has actually adjusted. This have the right to happen in the time of ventilation through low tidal quantities, or where the topic is perdeveloping a breath organize, or where high flow nasal prongs are affiliated. 

The effect of a low tidal volume on anatomical dead space

 When one takes tidal volumes below the intended volume of anatomical dead space (i.e. a VT much less than 150ml in an adult), one could suppose that every one of the tidal volume is simply dead space, and that no alveolar ventilation deserve to probably occur. That, in reality, is not the instance. When measured by Bohr"s strategy, the anatomical dead space appears to decrease in propercent to the tidal volume. Nunn & Hill (1959) found that the threshost for this is approximately 350ml. In reality with little sufficient tidal quantities, they were able to sample alveolar-looking expiratory gas from the carina of among their subjects, saying an intrathoracic anatomical dead area volume of 0ml.This is bereason of 2 main phenomena:

Expiratory gas mixing: because of the relatively sluggish activity of gas out of the alveoli, tbelow is even more opportunity for the alveolar gas to mix (by diffusion) via the gas of the conducting airmethods, making the exhaled gas concentration even more homogeneous and alveolar-choose, which has actually the result of making the anatomical dead space look smaller sized.

By extension of the same assumed as above, if one holds one"s expiratory gases in one"s conducting airmethods, offered some time they will certainly all mix by assorted means (cardiac pulsation agitating them, diffusion, etc etc). The outcome will be that, upon exhaling, one"s larynx will contain a gas mixture which will resemble one"s alveolar gas. The measurement of dead room by analysis of expiratory gases will certainly therefore yield bizarre outcomes, via anatomical dead room appearing confined to the volume of the supraglottic frameworks.

Alveolar dead space

In the briefest means possible, alveolar dead space is all the dead room which is not anatomical. It is impressive that such a straightforward concept have to develop so much confusion, and the level of confusion seems to escalate the deeper one digs into the literary works. The worst thing one can perform is try to compare various authors" interpretations to establish one which is premium. For example, to borrow from Nunn"s, alveolar dead room volume is:

"the component of the inspired gas that passes through the anatomical dead room to mix via gas at thealveolar level, but which does not take part in gas exreadjust." 

To word it slightly in a different way (component of the motivated gas could not sound clinical enough for some readers) the alveolar dead area volume can be characterized as the fractivity of the tidal volume which interacts with alveoli without any type of gas exadjust following. Realistically of course this is a composite of gas coming earlier from truly unperfsupplied alveoli in addition to gas coming ago from alveoli which were merely underperfsupplied, but it is convenient to pretend that this dead area volume is a sharply demarcated block of gas. If one is seduced by simplicity, one would certainly hold to the definition that:

Alveolar dead space is the volume of gas which ventilates lung devices with V/Q = ∞

This is excellent enough for world who teach other civilization about lung physiology for a living, and it is additionally convenient bereason the Bohr and also Enghoff techniques of measuring dead space end up reporting a solitary volume which indeed has actually a V/Q = ∞. However, most reasonable human being would most likely want their interpretation to recognise that tbelow are these shadowy areas of V/Q malcirculation, in which case:

Alveolar dead space is the volume of gas which ventilates lung devices with V/Q > 1.0

Weirdly, various other authoritative resources (eg. this write-up on PE by Goldhaber & Eliott, 2003) define lung systems with V/Q = ∞ as "anatomical dead space", and case that anatomical dead area boosts via PE, whereas "alveolar dead space" is presumably all those various other lung devices which have actually a V/Q proportion between 1.0 and also infinity, including those whose V/Q proportion is immeasurably high yet not limitless. Presumably, bereason these world got publiburned in Circulation, some senior peer reviewer somewright here agreed that this is a well-established meaning for these terms. 

In summary, tright here does not appear to be consensus on what alveolar dead area is, or how to reexisting it in a human-readable sentence. From the abovedeclared gibberish, pieces of factor have the right to be extracted to make memorable soundbites for the vivas:

Alveolar dead area is the volume of gas which fills lung systems which are underperfprovided / not perfprovided / not participating in gas exreadjust (pick the description which produces the fewest furrows in the examiner"s brow)It is the distinction between physiological dead area and anatomical dead room.Wests" Zone 1 contain alveolar dead space.Under normal circumstances, this volume is minimal. 

Tbelow are a number of determinants which affect the dimension of this volume:

Dead room because of right-to-left shunt

The presence of a big enough shunt have the right to provide increase to the appearance of enhanced physiological dead space, provided one supplies the Enghoff definition of dead room. Observe, a clever instance from Hedenstierna & Sandhagen (2006), rendered right into puerile diagrams:


In this believed experiment, the dead room fraction of the tidal volume is 7.5%. However, one should note that in this one-alveolus model, there are no unperfprovided lung devices. Therefore, where shunt is substantial, it have the right to create the illusion of alveolar dead space bereason it increases the distinction between the alveolar and arterial CO2. The reader is warned: this is only an illusion, resulting from a limitation of the Bohr-Enghoff equation. There"s no unperfoffered alveoli in tright here. Authors such as Hedenstierna & Sandhagen (2006) even warn versus giving this point a name prefer "shunt dead space" bereason it "might offer the reader the wrong impression that we carry out deal with a real dead space". It does, but, behave exceptionally a lot choose dead space, in the sense that increasing the ventilation will have little additional impact on decreasing the PaCO2.

For this scenario to take place, the shunt has obtained to be pretty significant (in the scenario above, one third of all cardiac output is going via the shunt). In actual life, shunts choose this are sometimes viewed in the establishing of ARDS. Nicklakid et al (2008) modelled some shunt fractivity scenarios and also identified that with a normal cardiac output, a shunt fractivity of 60% would certainly be intended to create an alveolar dead space fraction of about 21%. Furthermore, also at a more modest shunt fraction of 40%, decreasing the cardiac output from 5L/min to 3 L/min (entirely plausible in the ICU) enhanced the alveolar dead area from 11% to 16%. 

Apparatus dead space

The effect of airmethod equipment on transforming the dead space is debated in better information in the chapter on the impacts of positive pressure ventilation. In summary, the major factor for the adjust is that under some situations the abovementioned devices will certainly either decrease the anatomical dead room by bypassing the upper airmeans frameworks, or include to it by including additional volume in the develop of circuit components.


In this fashion, intubation or tracheostomy decrease anatomical dead area by up to 50%, whereas NIV rises anatomical dead area by the volume of the mask, or about 50ml (Saatci et al, 2004). 

Eponymous dead spaces

 Just as a reader rightly wonder just how many kind of more dead spaces they could maybe toleprice, this chapter confronts them via numerous more. References to these are viewed throughout the literary works, and tbelow is probably some merit in discussing them. In brief, they are named after researchers who initially demonstrated some novel way of measuring dead space, and also the volumes they describe are dead area as measured by the eponymous approach. Therefore, each dead area has some limits and also inaccuracies which mirror the restrictions of their particular measurement approach, questioned in higher information in the chapter on dead area measurement. Here, a brief summary will certainly suffice:

Bohr dead space: The dead space measured by Bohr"s technique, utilizing the alveolar CO2 concentration, which primarily corresponds to the physiological dead room in normal healthy people. Difficult to measure, as the intend alveolar CO2 is hard to precisely recognize, and as individual alveoli will have actually extremely various CO2 values. Unaffected by the visibility of a shunt.

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Enghoff dead area, which is the dead area measured by Enghoff"s change of the Bohr equation, making use of arterial CO2 and therefore inviting error in the shape of shunt. In the majority of textbooks, the Enghoff area is synonymous via physiological dead room.