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Tidal Volume

Tidal Volume Pronunciation: Ty-dal Vo-lume (ˈtī-dəl ˈväl-yəm)

Definition: Tidal volume is the amount of air that moves in and out of the lungs with each normal breath.

What is Tidal Volume?


Tidal volume refers to the amount of air that is inhaled or exhaled from the lungs during regular, relaxed breathing. It is a crucial parameter in the assessment of lung function.

Key Facts about Tidal Volume:

  • In healthy adults, the average tidal volume is approximately 500 milliliters.
  • Tidal volume can change based on factors like body size, posture, and exercise.
  • Abnormally high or low tidal volumes may be an indicator of lung disease or injury.
  • In mechanical ventilation, careful management of tidal volume can help prevent lung injury.

Tidal Volume in Medical Practice

Measurement of Tidal Volume

Tidal volume is usually measured as part of spirometry tests that assess lung function. In a hospital setting, it can also be monitored in patients on a ventilator.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tidal Volume

Why is tidal volume important?

Tidal volume is an essential parameter in understanding lung function. It can provide insights into a person’s respiratory health and is a crucial factor in settings like mechanical ventilation.

What can affect tidal volume?

Tidal volume can be affected by factors like body size, posture, physical activity level, and health status.


  1. MedlinePlus. (n.d.). Lung function tests. Retrieved July 30, 2023, from
  2. American Lung Association. (2023). Spirometry. Retrieved July 30, 2023, from