Send to

Choose Destination
Clin Chest Med. 2011 Mar;32(1):1-13. doi: 10.1016/j.ccm.2010.11.001.

Respiratory physiology in pregnancy.

Author information

Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Intermountain Medical Center, University of Utah, 5121 South Cottonwood Street, UT 84157, USA; Pulmonary Function Laboratory, Intermountain Medical Center, 5121 South Cottonwood Street, Murray, UT 84157, USA. Electronic address:
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, LDS Hospital, University of Utah, 8th Avenue and C Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84103, USA.


Pregnancy induces marked changes in the respiratory and cardiovascular systems that are essential for meeting the increased metabolic demands of the mother and fetus. Important respiratory system changes occur in the upper airway, chest wall, static lung volumes, and ventilation and gas exchange. Marked cardiovascular changes also occur during pregnancy including increased plasma volume, increased cardiac output, and reduced vascular resistance. Knowledge of these physiologic adaptations is necessary for the clinician to distinguish the common "physiologic dyspnea" from disease states that occur during pregnancy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center