Use of the whole body plethysmograph has made possible the visualization of an aventilatory mass flow (AVMF) during both ventilation and apnea in man. It has been demonstrated that even short aventilatory intervals are accompanied by an observable en masse movement of ambient air into the lungs due to the diffusive uptake of O2 plus impoundment of CO2 because of the long airway. Since the basic phenomenon occurs during all phases of breathing, including the uninterrupted normal breathing rhythm, it is suggested that it be given a more descriptive name than ‘diffusion respiration’ (Anesth. & Analg. 28: 307, 1949) or ‘apneic diffusion of oxygenation’ (Acta chir. scandinav., Suppl. 212, 1956). Aventilatory mass flow (AVMF) is suggested as a name which includes the observable part of the phenomenon—mass flow—and which does not embody any misleading terms.
- Copyright © 1959 the American Physiological Society