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Old 02-14-2017
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Default Respiratory physiology - work of breathing and surface tension

This is about work of breathing (resistive and elastic work)

For alveolar oedema, some books mention that there is a decrease in resistive work due to radial traction and therefore decrease airway resistance. But the answer given was that because there was increased surface tension in the fluid accumulating in the alveolar space.

But I don't quite get why increased surface tension would increase radial traction. I thought radial traction only increases with increased volume? So the explanation should be increased fluid volume lead to increase radial traction. I thought surface tension would actually contribute to a decrease in radial traction because it is actively trying to collapse the alveoli?

Please help.
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