How is restrictive lung disease characterized?

Updated: Sep 16, 2020
  • Author: Jonathan Robert Caronia, DO; Chief Editor: John J Oppenheimer, MD  more...
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Answer

Restrictive lung diseases are characterized by reduced lung volumes, either because of an alteration in lung parenchyma or because of a disease of the pleura, chest wall, or neuromuscular apparatus. Unlike obstructive lung diseases, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which show a normal or increased total lung capacity (TLC), restrictive disease are associated with a decreased TLC. Measures of expiratory airflow are preserved and airway resistance is normal and the forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1)/forced vital capacity (FVC) ratio is increased. If caused by parenchymal lung disease, restrictive lung disorders are accompanied by reduced gas transfer, which may be marked clinically by desaturation after exercise. [1, 2]


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